MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- In order to honor the contributions Nurses make everyday toward healthcare, hospitals across the country are celebrating National Nurses Week May 6 - 12. Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune held two cake-cutting ceremonies to recognize the hard work and dedication nurses bring their profession.
This dedication to their work is what makes nurses one of the most admirable and most respected professions in the health care industry, according to the American Nurses Association Website.
The theme for this year’s celebration, Nurses: Many Roles, One Profession, reflects the growing and expanding roles nurses face. At the naval hospital, this is compounded by deployments and training requirements that add to the stresses already come endured with being nurse.
“This week goes straight to what nurses stand for,” said Lt. Tracey Giles, division officer of the ambulatory procedure unit. “Our nurses come to work everyday to care for other people. They give up a lot to care for their patients.”
The Naval Nurse Corps has a long history helping Marines and Sailors recover and get back into the fight. Officially formed in 1908, the nurse corps began with a small unit of 20 nurses stationed in Washington, D.C. The corps soon grew into a worldwide force of approximately 1,400 during World War II.
Currently, more than 280 nurses are stationed at the naval hospital, which included those who are deployed in support of the Marines and Sailors overseas.
“Our role here is to support the Marines forces, along with their families and dependants,” said Giles. “That role is changing though, as more opportunities for deployments are available for nurses.”
It’s these growing responsibilities that make finding good and reliable nurses harder and harder, said Giles. The sacrifice and care nurse’s give comes from a personal desire to care for the injured.
“You have to have a heart for nursing,” she said. “It’s not like any other career choice, it’s something deeper and more personnel - and being a military nurse is even more. You’re not just supporting the troops, you’re really supporting your country.”