National Nurses Week: 4 Million Reasons to Say Thank You

The theme, 4 Million Reasons to Celebrate, highlights National Nurses Week May 6-12 with a focus on educating clinicians and consumers about the positive impact nurses have on patients’ health and wellness, as well as the significant contributions to healthcare by the global nursing community.

Happy Nurses Week

Why 4 million? Simple – that’s the number of registered nurses working selflessly each day in the U.S. on the clinical frontline and behind the scenes, ensuring those they manage have the tools and information they need to deliver quality care and improved patient outcomes. One of these nurses is Kandi Helminiak, BSN, RN, a nursing executive with Elsevier Clinical Solutions.

Kandi collaborates with nursing staffs at hospitals, healthcare systems, and academic centers to reduce variation in care and improve patient outcomes through evidence-based decisions. Through over 16 years of nursing, Kandi has amassed a significant background in direct patient care in multiple settings, including trauma, and the use of evidence-based knowledge to help improve the clinician-patient experience.

We asked Kandi to tell us more about her career, her profession and how much National Nurse’s Week means to her.

Q: Why did you become a nurse?

A: I researched child abuse when I was in high school and my first calling was to help child abuse victims. Being a social worker is challenging and strenuous and I was concerned that I would have to put myself in situations that made me feel uncomfortable. I then turned to nursing. It always felt like a very honorable career and I made a decision to not only help children, but all patients who need a loving touch. I always felt I made the right decision. Working closely with colleagues and touching the lives of so many has transformed me in ways I would never have imagined. It is an honor to be a nurse and be surrounded by so many nurses and health professionals that give their time and energy to help those in need.

Q: What does National Nurses Week mean to you?

A: National Nurses Week lets nurses know they are instrumental and respected in their care of patients, colleagues and coworkers. It’s a wonderful time to remember and deeply appreciate those who work every day to give the best possible care they can. Nurses routinely miss family holidays, events with our children, and more. We do so because we know there are patients who need us. It’s a time for nurses to feel appreciated for all that we do. More importantly, it’s a time for me to truly reflect on my chosen profession and be glad I made the choice I did.

Q: What is your outlook for the future of nursing?

A: Though there are many challenges facing the nursing profession--an aging population, behavioral and traumatic challenges and nursing shortages, to name a few—we can get through anything as long as we work together. I believe in our profession and know that we will support each other and work to overcome any challenges that arise. Nurses empower each other and advocate for our profession every day. We continue to learn, we lift each other up when in need and we come to work every day prepared for our next challenge.

Q: What is one self-care tip you would give to a nurse?

A: Taking care of yourself is the best way to ensure that you take the best possible care of the patient. Stay educated in advances in patient care and evolving best practices, keep healthy and continue to advocate for our profession. Love yourself and stay positive.

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