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Sarasota Memorial Celebrates its 1,200 Nurses

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National Nurses Week is May 6-12, 2012, culminating on Florence Nightingale’s birthday

nurse weekSARASOTA, Fla. (May 7, 2012) – Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is celebrating its 1,200-plus nurses this week – National Nurses Week May 6-12, with a weeklong slate of activities that recognize the care and commitment of its 1,200 nurses. The national recognition week takes place each year, culminating May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

“For our nurses, it’s not just a profession – it’s a passion. Nurses are a combination of grit and grace – they have a wonderful way of balancing life saving care with heart-warming compassion,” said Sarasota Memorial Chief Nursing Officer Jan Mauck. “Nurses Week is a wonderful opportunity to recognize and thank them for the dedication they demonstrate every day.”

One of the highlights of Sarasota Memorial’s annual Nurses Week celebration will be the “Magnet” Nurses of Excellence Awards at 3:30 pm Wednesday, recognizing the top 10 nurses in the health system who epitomize the values that have made Sarasota Memorial a “Magnet Hospital.” Sarasota Memorial is one of just 5 percent of hospitals in the nation – and the only one in this region to earn nursing’s highest honor – Magnet Nursing Services Recognition. Awarded sparingly by the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center, the designation identifies hospitals that provide the resources, education and supportive environment necessary to attract and retain the best and brightest nurses.

In honor of nursing’s special week, Sarasota Memorial also is continuing its long-standing “Blessing of the Hands” tradition. A special ceremony will be held 1 pm and 9 pm Tuesday, May 8. Chaplains will anoint nurses' hands with oil and bless them for continuing to use their hands as instruments of healing. Other activities also taking place during the week include:

• “Wear Your Whites Day!” Wednesday, May 10; nurses will don the traditional white uniforms.

• “Happy Birthday Florence Nightingale Celebration” – birthday cake will be served 11 am-1 pm Saturday, May 12, in the hospital cafeteria.

Local businesses, organizations and Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation, Inc. have donated an assortment of gifts for the nurses, who will be treated to games, raffles, meals and entertainment throughout the week. Special time also has been set aside for research and educational opportunities.

About Sarasota Memorial’s 1,200 Nurses

• Roughly 450 hold advanced certifications in more than 30 specialties

• Approximately 435 have advanced nursing degrees (bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees). More than 160 more are currently in the process of completing their bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degrees in nursing.

• Approximately 10 percent – just over 100 of our nurses – are male.

• SMH has received Magnet designation, the nation’s highest honor for excellence in nursing. There are 392 Magnet hospitals, including five international hospitals.

• Magnet hospitals have higher percentages of satisfied RNs, lower RN turnover and vacancy, improved clinical outcomes and improved patient satisfaction.

About Sarasota Memorial Health Care System
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional referral center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of inpatient, outpatient and extended care services, with more than 800,000 patient visits a year. One of the 10 largest public hospitals in America, Sarasota Memorial’s 806-bed acute care hospital has been recognized repeatedly as one of the nation’s largest, safest and best, with superior patient outcomes and a complete continuum of outpatient services– from urgent care clinics and physician groups, laboratory and diagnostic imaging centers, to home health and skilled nursing & rehabilitation. Sarasota Memorial is the only hospital in the Suncoast region (Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties) ever to make HealthGrades’ 50 best list. For information, visit:

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