This is news that never gets old: for the 16th consecutive year, Americans’ ratings of the honesty and ethical standards of 22 occupations finds nurses at the top of the list. Nurse, medical doctor, and pharmacist are among the professions ranked highest for honesty and ethics—and 8 out of 10 Americans describe nurse ethics as “very high” or “high.”

Poll statistics don’t even begin to tell the story of the impact that professional nursing has on virtually every aspect of our work at Adventist HealthCare. To ethical and honest, most people would add kind, caring, and compassionate. And if you work in healthcare you would probably also add resourceful, committed, and indispensable. (I married a nurse. I can tell you that all of those things are true.)

National Nurses Day (Sunday, May 6) anchors Nurses Week, which culminates in the commemoration of Florence Nightingale’s birthday on May 12.  Nurse Nightingale has turned out to be a forceful anchor for the entire nursing profession. An often seen quote from her states, “I attribute my success to this:  I never gave or took an excuse.”

Nurses—at least the ones I know—have mastered the art of responding to the care environment in the way that is most appropriate for the patient.  Sometimes it is nurturing and compassionate. Sometimes it is objective and unobtrusive.  Sometimes it is forceful and directive. They move deftly beyond the transactional to the relational, nurturing those things that help make healing happen. They neither give nor take an excuse.

It is a privilege for us to recognize the contributions of the 4 million nurses here in the United States and to show our appreciation to the thousands of nurses who are an important part of our AHC family.

Are you a nurse? Thank you!  Where would we be without you?  A future without nurses is unimaginable.  We honor you through Nurses Week for your defining role in the fulfillment of our mission. We are grateful for what you do so faithfully every day.