Joint Community Letter: National Nursing Week 2021
The profession of nursing is truly a calling, one that is deliberately chosen and aligned to the personal skills, qualities, and abilities of those who choose to answer it. During National Nursing Week, we are privileged to recognize this distinguished profession and all those who represent it, spotlighting the thousands of nurses in our region who epitomize this year’s theme: “We Answer the Call.”
The decision to become a nurse is often influenced by a desire to provide care, to be in service to others, or to make a difference in the community. It is grounded in the opportunity to challenge oneself in humanities, pure and applied sciences, psychology, sociology, epidemiology and similar fields. This calling is uniquely personal, yet rooted in a collective and shared desire to make an impact. Whether it be improving the patient, client, family and caregiver experience, mobilizing communities, informing healthy public policy, educating, leading, researching, and innovating; a nurses’ ability to influence the health and wellbeing of our community is far-reaching.
Within our community, we are proud to work alongside more than 7,000 nurses in a variety of roles across a spectrum of organizations. Registered and registered practical nurses, advanced practice nurses, student nurses, preceptors, educators, researchers and leaders all play an integral role in caring for our community in a myriad of concrete and intangible ways.
The role of nursing and its impact has never been more critical – nor appreciated – than during this unprecedented global health crisis. Whether directly or indirectly, many have felt the influence of nurses and their profession throughout almost every element of this pandemic. We have witnessed countless stories of nurses supporting patients and clients, students, families, colleagues, communities and organizations. They continue rising to the challenge, often stepping into unfamiliar areas wherever their skills, compassion, and knowledge are needed.
Their essential role in, and contributions to, public health efforts as well as the provision of care within our hospitals, primary care settings, community settings, retirement and long-term care homes, and on the street, have persevered all while continuing to support and educate the next generation of nurses being called to serve.
We are proud of the nurses across our region who embody a host of characteristics that are both specific and universal to the profession. Our nurses are educated professionals, skilled care providers, compassionate healers and devoted advocates. Their innovation and resiliency allow them to problem-solve and prioritize quickly. Their scientific knowledge helps them to recognize and respond to early changes in patient conditions, to assess and take action in a myriad of situations in many different settings, using current information to guide their practice. Their commitment to collaboration means working across disciplines, teams, providers, partners, and sectors to support transitions in care, assist with accessing and navigating the system, contribute to community and family wellbeing, and impact the health of populations. Their understanding of health equity and the social determinants of health enable them to identify and reduce barriers, leverage existing strengths, and take action to reduce inequities. All while understanding that the needs and goals of patients, family partners, and communities are at the centre of everything they do.
Now more than ever, we are grateful to our nurses and we thank each and every one of them for answering the call.
Happy National Nursing Week!
Karen Perkin, RN, MScN
Vice President/Chief Nursing Executive
St. Joseph’s Health Care London
Carol Young Ritchie RN, MScN, FCAN
Chief Nursing Executive
London Health Sciences Centre
Heather Lokko, RN MPH CCHN(C)
Chief Nursing Officer
Middlesex London Health Unit
Victoria Smye, RN, PhD
Director, Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing,
Pam McLaughlin, BScN, MEd
Dean – Faculty of Health, Community Studies and Public Safety