May 2, 2003

Vanderbilt honors nurses during week of celebration

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Dr. Herbert Schwartz, right, was presented the Grant W. Liddle Award from resident Dr. Michael Rohmiller. (photo by Dana Johnson)

Vanderbilt honors nurses during week of celebration

The committee organizing Vanderbilt’s observance of National Nurses’ Week is planning events to pamper, educate, entertain, celebrate, and honor the nurses of the Medical Center and the School of Nursing next week.

National Nurses’ Week kicks off on Monday May 5, with the Nurse Wellness Fair from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The event, to be held in a tent between the V.A. Medical Center and Light Hall, will feature vendor booths, refreshments, and entertainment. A Blessing of Hands ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. in the Wadlington Conference Room on 6 South in hospital. The first day wraps up with a recruitment open house from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center.

Maria Overstreet, M.S.N., instructor in the School of Nursing, and a committee member who helped plan the Nurses’ Week celebration, says the wellness fair is something nurses won’t want to miss. “I’m definitely going to the wellness fair,” she said. “Vendors from outside companies will be offering tokens of appreciation for nurses and various giveaways, and more importantly the latest information in caring for patients and yourself.”

Dr. Harry R. Jacobson, vice chancellor for Health Affairs, says National Nurses’ Week is a time to recognize nurses in all areas. “One of the elements of our credo at Vanderbilt is ‘Our patients come first,’ and nobody spends more time and gives more to our patients than our nurses,” he said. “In addition to that vital patient care work, we have nurses who work in administration, research, and as professors, and each in their own way is helping shape Vanderbilt and helping shape the lives they intersect. “

Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., dean of the Vanderbilt School of Nursing, says the celebration of the tireless nurses at Vanderbilt is vital. “The U.S. nurse workforce, especially in hospitals, is stretched and concerned about present and future staffing needs. It is always necessary to appreciate and celebrate the efficiency, effectiveness and caring of nurses, but even more so this year,” she said.

Marilyn Dubree, M.S.N., director of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at the Medical Center, agrees. “National Nurses’ Week gives us an opportunity to celebrate the contribution each nurse, nurse manager, administrator, nurse practitioner, nurse researcher, nurse faculty and nursing student makes to patient care,” Dubree said. “We are fortunate to work with some of the finest and most talented professionals. Please join me in celebrating them collectively and as individuals during this week.”

Other activities planned during the week include:

Tuesday, May 6

• Blessing of Hands, Wadlington Conference Room, 7:30-8 a.m.

• State of Nursing Address, Marilyn Dubree, 208 Light Hall, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

• Nurses’ Week Celebration, under the tent between VA and Light Hall, music by Soul Incision, food, dancing, 5-9 p.m.

Wednesday, May 7

•State of Nursing Address, Marilyn Dubree, 202 Light Hall, 7:30-8:30 a.m.

•Blessing of Hands, Wadlington Conference Room, 9 p.m.

Thursday, May 8

•Blessing of Hands, Wadlington Conference Room, 4 p.m.