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SMH Pays Tribute to its 1,200 Nurses

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SARASOTA, Fla. (May 6-12, 2014) – Every year on May 12 – Florence Nightingale’s birthday – nurses across the nation take a moment to honor the woman many consider the founder of modern nursing.

Meanwhile, the rest of the nation honors them: National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6 and culminates on Nightingale's birthday. At Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, hospital leaders, physicians and patients take part in a weeklong celebration to recognize individual nurses and the value of nursing initiatives enhancing the quality of patient care.

This year’s theme is Nurses Leading the Way.
“Today, more than ever, nurses are taking a more challenging role in transforming the health care system,” said Sarasota Memorial Chief Nursing Officer Jan Mauck. “They are clinical leaders delivering exceptional care in an constantly changing environment. We salute their creativity, empathy and innovation.”

Nurses Week Celebrations

Blessing of the Hands
On Wednesday morning, Sarasota Memorial Chaplain John Gerhardt shared an inspirational moment with a group of nurses and multi-skilled techs before blessing their hands with a special prayer and healing oil during Nurses Week May 6-12. From left: Gerhardt; Rhonda Ryan, RN; Katrina Christensen, MST; Tina Sazepin-Smith, ARNP; Shannon Hall, ARNP; Miriam Delfino, MST and Britani Wright, RN.   

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Sarasota Memorial's 1,200 nurses already lead the industry – the hospital is among just 1 percent of health systems across the nation to earn Magnet Nursing Services Recognition, the nation’s highest honor for excellence in nursing, for the third time. Given by the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center, Magnet designation means Sarasota Memorial provides an environment that attracts and retains the best nurses and supports organization-wide initiatives that lead to higher quality patient care.

Among other achievements, Sarasota Memorial’s nursing initiatives include a special residency unit that pairs veteran nurses and new nurses, life-saving nursing teams, critical research and education programs that are increasing the percentage of bedside RNs with bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees. 

This year, Sarasota Memorial has two international visitors sharing in America's celebration of nurses – two head nurses from Third Hospital of Beijing University, who arrived last month from Beijing, China to learn about U.S. healthcare and nursing.  They will be here for two months, spending time in a variety of settings, clinical units, attending different meetings and exploring our community. 

Thanking an SMH nurse is easy! Click here to post a quick message on facebook!

National Nurses’ Week is May 6 - 12! 
SMH has a full slate of events planned to honor our more than 1,200 nurses: 

Monday, May 6

  • Blessing of the hands
  • Pizza delivery to nurses in off-site locations

Wednesday, May 7

  • Unit celebrations/pizza for nurses on-site

Thursday, May 8

  • Nursing Preceptor Celebration, 1-3 p.m., 3C

Friday, May 9

  • Workshop - “Writer’s Block? Flip It to Cure It. A Guide to Publication” by Dr. Meredith Rowe, 1 p.m., Auditorium. One CEU available.

Saturday, May 10

  • Birthday cake for Florence Nightingale, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. in Windows Cafeteria

Monday, May 12

  • Breakfast for nurses, 6:30 - 9 a.m., 4A&B
  • Nurses and PCTs of Excellence Ceremony, 3:30 p.m., Hospital Auditorium

Tuesday, May 13

  • Research Day, 8:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m., Auditorium: Learn about nursing research projects. 


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. 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) to earn Magnet Nursing Services Recognition, the nation’s highest honor for excellence in nursing, and among just 1% of hospitals to be designated for the third time. It also is the only one in the region to rank in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals” lists.

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