May 6-12 is Nurse’s Week, the week set aside to recognize the unique contribution nurses make to our society. More than 50% of the 2.6 million nurses who are employed in healthcare work in hospitals—and nearly one third of the employees of Adventist HealthCare are nurses. They give us much to be thankful for.

In part that appreciation is mirrored in the results of the December 2013 survey by the Gallup organization that once again shows nursing as the most trusted profession in America. I’m married to an oncology nurse, and I’ve seen how nurses connect with patients and their families, how they approach their jobs with an attitude of caring and concern, and how they embody compassion in all aspects of their work.

But that only tells part of the story.

[pullquote]Nurses are an active and critical part of the clinical outcomes we achieve in our work.[/pullquote] They bring significant medical knowledge, technical proficiency, and relational skills to the diverse tasks presented to them. They are active in every sector of healthcare, and provide the professional foundation for the fulfillment of our mission to demonstrate God’s care.

Patients rightfully recognize that nurses are actively involved in their healing and recovery—all the while protecting them from the risks that are present when illness occurs. I think this may be why they consistently top the Gallup polls. They are trusted because of their competencies—and loved for the caring and compassionate ways they bring their skills and experience to their task. Through Nurses Week we can all have a better understanding of how nurses are making a difference in our daily work.

To the nurses on our AHC team—Thank You! You are a vital part of our work and ministry, and you make a difference in the lives of everyone that we serve. We wouldn’t be who we are without you.