Trust me on this

Dean's Blog | May 07, 2020
Judith Karshmer

We’re still unraveling the mysteries of COVID-19, but there’s no doubt about the impact of nurses in the global fight against the pandemic. Health care workers are on the front lines and nurses are the far-forward troops.

Although masked and, hopefully, covered in essential PPE, nurses are the human faces of health care for COVID-19 patients and their families. As premier patient educators, nurses also are helping to counter rampant misinformation about an unprecedented public health threat.

No one is better positioned to do this.

Nurses Week is May 6-12 and it’s fitting that this year’s theme is “Compassion, Expertise, Trust.” (Internationally, 2020 is the Year of the Nurse.) Nursing professionals in the COVID-19 spotlight have demonstrated those traits with outstanding examples of training and caring.

Nursing students, who are honored annually on May 8, also have answered the call during the pandemic. Our students are putting their backgrounds to good use in accepting offers to work as certified nursing assistants in nursing homes and many of our DNP students are at the front line of primary care.

Nurses have been the most trusted professionals in the United States for 18 consecutive years. In a 2019 Gallup poll, 85 percent of respondents said nurses’ honesty and ethical standards are "very high" or "high."

When nurses talk, people listen. Nurses are the experts spending time with patients, building rapport through one-on-one conversations that translate to real talk what doctors say and establishing important relationships. Compassion. Expertise. Trust.

It’s heartening to see the public displays of support for health care workers, such as the white-ribbon campaign. But nurses are neighbors, too. They have homes and families and needs that are difficult to tend while they’re at work fighting the good fight.

In addition to saying thank you, some of the best support nurses could receive are acts of kindness and thoughtfulness, just ask them what can you do to help. You can trust that this will be appreciated.