A Salute to Erlanger Nursing

Jan Keys, DNP, RN, FACHE

The legacy of Erlanger nurses can be seen in action every day as they provide care in a competent, patient-focused, efficient and compassionate manner. The organizational goals for Erlanger nurses are to maximize care variation, improve performance on quality and patient satisfaction metrics, provide continuity across the continuum for all patients in addition to building a sustainable culture of safety, quality and service.

Patients are our priority but ministering to families is also a big part of the nursing care plan.

The patients are working hard to get better so we want to work with the families, too, so they will be ready to take care of their loved ones when it is time to go home. It has been said that as a nurse we have the opportunity to heal the heart, mind, soul and body of our patients, their families and ourselves.

Nurses go above and beyond the call of duty—the first to work and the last to leave. A patient described a nurse as “a unique soul who will pass through your life for a minute and impact it for an eternity.”

Florence Nightingale said, “Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion—as hard a preparation, as any painter’s or sculptor’s work; for what is the working of a dead canvas or dead marble, compared with the works with the living body, the very temple of God’s spirit? It is one of the Fine Arts: actually, the finest of Fine Arts.”

As Jean Watson posed, “Caring is the essence of nursing.”

When I think about all the patients and their loved ones whom I have worked with over the years, I know most of them don’t remember me nor I them. But I do know that I gave a little piece of myself to each of them and they to me and those threads make up the beautiful tapestry in my mind that is my career in nursing.

Nurses, thank you for the many lives you touch throughout the day. You are part of the Legacy of Nursing at Erlanger.