National Nurses Week, Hospital Week Collide at St. Luke's Hospital

COLUMBUS, NC - Two nationally recognized weeks of celebration in healthcare are overlapping -- National Nurses Week, May 6-12, and National Hospital Week, 8-14 -- and St. Luke's Hospital in Columbus, NC, has big plans to honor its teammates.

"We have goodies for every teammate on Monday, a week-long word game with big prizes, a cookie bake sale and contest on Tuesday, a cookout on Wednesday, snow cones on Thursday, and popcorn on Friday. And that's just for Hospital Week," St. Luke's Chief Executive Officer Ken Shull said. "Our team is exceptional, so when we have the opportunity to celebrate them, we do."

For Nurses Week, members of the nursing staff will be given certificates, rewards, and individual recognition for their commitment. Departments at the hospital will be engaged in a creative flag-making challenge, too.

"Nurses are often the unsung heroes of healthcare," Cathy Moore, VP of Patient Care Services, said, "but not at St. Luke's Hospital. Our nurses make a difference in patients' lives every single day, so we can't let their passion go unnoticed. I am so thankful for all of our nurses."

Nurses Week, an initiative of the American Nurses Association, is a time to honor the 3.1 million registered nurses in the United States for their role as caregivers and their commitment to patients. Nurses Week starts on May 6 in recognition of Florence Nightingale who is known as the "founder of modern nursing." Nightingale is also known as "The Lady with the Lamp" because she visited her patients at night during the Crimean War and pioneered a new era of nursing. The theme of this year's National Nurses Week is "Culture of Safety: It Starts With You."

Hospital Week is held in early May each year to celebrate all healthcare professionals. The concept, according to organizer American Hospital Association, is to recognize all of the people who play a part in providing patient care, "physicians, nurses, therapists, engineers, food service workers, volunteers, administrators" and others.

"Nurses Week and Hospital Week are both big times for us at St. Luke's," Shull said. "Having them collide presents double the work but also double the reward. It lets us celebrate our teammates on a grander scale, and our team deserves every bit of it.

"When the opportunity arises for us to celebrate, we take it, because we believe that when we recognize our team as well as our commitment to patient care, providing exceptional care close to home becomes second nature," Shull said, adding, "A team that feels valued provides valuable care. We're proud of that."