Naval Hospital Oak Harbor Celebrates Nurse Corps 106th Birthday

Story Number: NNS140509-40Release Date: 5/9/2014 11:16:00 PM
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By Sharon McIntyre, Naval Hospital Oak Harbor Public Affairs Officer

Oak Harbor, Wash. (NNS) -- Naval Hospital Oak Harbor (NHOH) nurses celebrated their 106th birthday with a week of events May 6-12, 2014.

This year's Nurses Week theme "Nurses: A Belief in Caring, Faith in Healing" was presented in a proclamation to Cmdr. Elizabeth Porter, Nurse Corps, by Oak Harbor City Councilman Bob Severns at the May 6 City Council Meeting.

The festivities began bright and early Monday morning, when the nurses enjoyed a hearty breakfast and conversation with their fellow nurses before starting their clinical rounds. On Wednesday and Thursday, a "Blessing of Hands" for all NHOH staff was performed by Chaplain Mark Tanis. The week-long celebration concluded with the congratulatory birthday wishes read to those in attendance from each of the Navy Medicine Corps Chiefs and the traditional cake cutting ceremony performed by the most senior and junior nurse at Naval Hospital Oak Harbor.

The Nurse Corps was established with the first "Sacred Twenty Nurses": a Navy Department circular order established the designation of Nurse on June 19, 1861, to be filled by junior enlisted men. Fifteen years later, the duties were transferred to the designation Bayman per U.S. Regulations of 1876. Although enlisted personnel were referred to as Nurses, their duties and responsibilities were more related to those of a Hospital Corpsman.

Nurses are key advocates for their patients ensuring they receive safe and quality care. Nurses spend a great deal of time with their patients and gain their trust, alleviate their fears, anxiety and pain. This trust has been validated by the Annual Gallop Survey naming the Nursing profession as the number one "most trusted profession in America" for the past decade.

Capt. Pruett-Baer, Director of Nursing, thanked the Naval Hospital Oak Harbor Nurses and Nurses Association who strive to provide safe and high quality patient-centered care for all of their patients.

Capt. Pruett-Baer concluded with: "as we continue through the changes in Navy Medicine, I want to thank each one of the nurses here today for choosing to enter this life changing profession and to always maintain your focus on the patient and their safe journey in our care. Thanks so much to the entire command for your support and for joining us in our annual Nurses Week celebrations."

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