CADILLAC — Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital wants the public as well as its staff to know nursing is not only important but an integral part of the services they provide.
Munson Cadillac Vice President of Patient Care Services Kathryn Bandfield-Keough said the role of nursing is defined by the American Nurses Association in their Scope of Nursing Practice Statement. In summary, nursing is the protection, promotion and optimization of health, prevention of illness and injury, facilitation of healing, alleviation of suffering, and advocacy for individuals, families, groups, communities and population, she said.
“In my opinion — nursing is a privilege. We help people through some of the most beautiful and most challenging moments of their lives,‘ she said.
That is a sentiment that many across the country share and as a result a week-long celebration is held every year targeting the work nurses do in the communities they serve. In 1993, the American Nurses Association declared May 6-12 as the national week to celebrate and elevate the nursing profession.
National Nurses Week starts on May 6, also known as National Nurses Day, through May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.
Bandfield-Keough said she has been a nurse for more than 30 years and she believes nurses advocate for the best interests of their patients. It is a role in the medical field that is pivotal.
While rural areas such as Northern Michigan can struggle to find nurses, Bandfield-Keough said that is not the case for Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital. She attributes that to having Baker College of Cadillac which has a nursing program.
“We have a pipeline of highly skilled nurses coming out of our local school. We don’t have a problem but some of the more rural areas it is harder (to get nurses to fill vacancies),‘ she said.
She said as a profession the year 2022 looks to be a big one. That is when it is expected that a lot of the nurses who are in the Baby Boomer generation will retire. As a result, Bandfield-Keough said the need for nurses will be in high demand. Couple that with the rigors of the program itself and that could add to the challenge of finding new nurses, she said.