Marking what would have been Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday, 2020 was named by the World Health Organization as “Year of the Nurse.” What no one could have anticipated a few short months ago was how significant this would be as our communities face both a local and worldwide pandemic caused by COVID-19.

The over 5,000 nurses of Riverside Health System are being celebrated during nurses week, May 6-12, for being heroes in health care, working on the front lines caring for patients in hospitals, in nursing facilities, physician practices and home health, to name just a few. Their stories of being prepared and caring for those facing COVID-19 reflect energy, compassion, innovation and dedication to their patients by caring for them as the Riverside Health System mission reflects -caring for others as we care for those we love.

“We are proud to pay tribute to the extraordinary nurses of Riverside this week, but also all nurses within our community,” said Bill Downey, CEO of Riverside Health System. “Practicing as a nurse during this historic time has brought its challenges that nurses across our state and nation have faced with strength and resilience.”

“Every nurse is drawn to this amazing work because of their desire to help, heal and serve. I see that every day across Riverside Health System,” said Nancy Littlefield, EVP and System Chief Nursing Officer. “I think a recent patient said it best, ‘I cannot say enough good about the care I received from all of my nursing team. They went above and beyond to care for me. I will never forget them.’”

For the past 18 years, the public, through the Gallup annual poll, has ranked nursing No. 1 when it comes to honesty and ethical practice. For these almost 20 years, nurses have held the respect of the public for what they do every day. This year—the year of the nurse—is no different. They are our health care heroes.

Published: May 5, 2020