SARASOTA, Fla. (May 6-12, 2017) – Sarasota Memorial Health Care System celebrated Nurses Week with a weeklong slate of activities that recognized the care and commitment of its more than 1,400 nurses.
The national recognition week takes place each year, culminating on the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.
“As health care evolves and becomes more complex, so does the role and responsibilities of nurses,” said Sarasota Memorial Chief Nursing Officer Connie Andersen. “They are caregivers, educators, researchers, mentors and advocates who ensure their patients receive optimal care. Nurses Week is a wonderful opportunity to recognize and thank them for the dedication they demonstrate every day.”
SMH leaders presented 2017 Nurse of Excellence awards to the top nurses, patient care assistants/multi-skilled techs, clinical educators and leaders in the health system who epitomize the values that have made Sarasota Memorial a “Magnet” Hospital. SMH has achieved Magnet® re-designation continuously since 2003, an achievement accomplished by just 1 percent of the nation’s hospitals that demonstrate the highest standards in nursing leadership and care.
Blessing of the Hands
Nadege Senexant, RN, receives a blessing from SMH Chaplain Charles Creech on Thursday.
The annual event also included the long-standing “Blessing of the Hands,” a tradition in which hospital chaplains anoint nurses' hands with oil and bless them as instruments of healing.
This year, Sarasota Memorial nurses also took their message into the community, sharing advice and information with Riverview High and Sarasota High School students interested in pursing a career in nursing. Among other resources, SMH nurses provided information on local nursing school programs and scholarships and financial assistance that could help them attain a range of nursing degrees. They also held an art contest, awarding certificates of appreciation and a cash award to a student from each high school.
“Our goal, more than anything, was to let the students know that there are resources out there to help them, and that if nursing is in their heart, they can and should pursue it,” said SMH Nurse Educator Julia Tierney, who helped organize Nurses Week and community outreach activities this year. “It is one of the most challenging professions, but also one of the most rewarding.”
About Sarasota Memorial
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional referral center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of care, with more than 900,000 patient visits a year. Sarasota Memorial’s flagship 829-bed acute care hospital has been recognized repeatedly as one of the nation’s largest, and best, with superior patient outcomes and a complete continuum of outpatient services– from urgent care clinics and physician groups, laboratory and diagnostic imaging centers, to home health and skilled nursing & rehabilitation. Sarasota Memorial is the only hospital repeatedly ranked as best in the Suncoast region (Sarasota, Manatee, Venice, North Port) in U.S. News’ “Best Hospitals” list and among the top hospitals in Florida.