Friday, May 6, begins National Nurses Week, a great opportunity to celebrate the people who are the backbone of VA’s health care system.
With more than 92,000 RNs, CRNAs, APNs, LPNs/LVNs, and nursing assistants, VA is the largest employer of nurses in the nation. VA nurses are at the bedside and in outpatient clinics working with the entire patient care team to deliver quality care. They are also developing patient safety initiatives, conducting research to evaluate and improve care delivery, and taking on leadership roles to help guide the next generation of nurses.
VA nurses are integral and equal members of the VA health care team of professionals. No health care professional is closer to the Veterans we care for than a VA nurse. Veterans and families rely on them for their compassion and VA relies on them for setting the highest clinical care standards. That reliance is well placed.
VA nursing is a profession with high standards and a strong sense of public service. VA nurses are among the most respected of all of our professions. There are few Veterans whose lives have not been touched by the care and reassurance that nurses provide, every hour of the day, every day of the year.
Nurses are reaching new levels of competency as the demand for more complex nursing care increases.
VA nursing is a dynamic, diverse group of honored, respected, and compassionate professionals. VA is the leader in the creation of an organizational culture where excellence in nursing is valued as essential for quality health care for those who served America.
I have visited many VA medical centers since coming on board and I have been impressed by VA nurses who are prepared to go above and beyond the call of duty, who find more innovative ways to work, to help each other with heavy workloads and look for ways to perform the job more effectively.
VA nurses serve and honor the nation’s Veterans and their families with concern and compassion. We salute them for their important contributions to the VA health care system, today and every day.
The nursing profession has come a very long way since the achievements of one of its greatest — Florence Nightingale, whose birthday is May 12. The future of the VA nursing profession is very bright. Want to join this compassionate corps? Explore VA nursing opportunities on the VA Careers website.
Thank you VA nurses for everything you do for America’s Veterans.
About the Author: Dr. David Shulkin is the Under Secretary for Health, Veterans Health Administration.