SEARHC honors nurses during National Nurses Week

May 01 2012

For their ability to save lives and maintain the health of their patients, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) is pleased to honor the work of its nurses during National Nurses Week in May.

National Nurses Week is an annual event celebrated throughout the U.S. The annual event traditionally starts on May 6, National Nurses Day, and ends on May 12, the birthday of the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale. This year’s theme, selected by the American Nurses Association, is “Nurses: Advocating, Leading, Caring.”

SEARHC employs more than 120 registered nurses (RN); licensed practical nurses (LPN); advanced nurse practitioners (ANP) in family, pediatrics, women’s health and adult specialties; and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA). These nurses provide exceptional care to all of the Native and non-Native patients who come to SEARHC facilities throughout Southeast Alaska. More than 60 nurses are employed at S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka, with the rest working at the Ethel Lund Medical Center in Juneau and most of SEARHC’s village clinics.

SEARHC nurses provide a variety of services. At S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital, they work in the emergency department, critical care, acute medical services, perioperative/operating room, outpatient department and obstetrical/surgical services. At all SEARHC clinics, nurses assist doctors during routine patient visits, see patients themselves (ANPs), work as case managers to help patients with specific needs manage their care and assist patients as they navigate the health care system. Flight nurses help the SEARHC Air Medical Services program transport patients from the villages to S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital during medevac flights.

“The 2012 National Nurses Week theme is 'Nurses: Advocating, Leading, Caring,’” said Lynn Gras, MSN, ANP, a family nurse practitioner and SEARHC S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital Director of Nursing. “Nurses have always lead the way in caring and advocating for our patients. Every day we see how much of a difference nurses make in people's lives here at SEARHC. The quality and caliber, the passion and compassion, the integrity and wisdom, and the skillful and critical judgments that SEARHC nurses make every day continue to humble me. We should all be proud and fiercely supportive of the work nurses do, both here in Southeast Alaska and around the world. Please join in recognizing all nurses everywhere and thank them for their dedication to Advocating, Leading, and Caring.”

Please join us in recognizing the nurses at SEARHC and thank a nurse for his or her dedication by letting them know “Nurses Rock.”