Last night, I had the honor of attending the 21st Annual Great 100 Nurses Night at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner, LA. This event is held each year to spotlight 100 nurses in southeast Louisiana for their contributions and commitment to nursing in our state.
There is a shortage of nursing professionals across the country, but the need is especially acute in the New Orleans area since Hurricane Katrina. The 100 honored individuals have made a choice to remain in the area and continue to dedicate themselves to providing the highest standard of patient care.
Each honoree was individually presented with a certificate and a pin to wear on their uniform proclaiming them as one of the chosen few. Every one of them had their own cheering section, loudly clapping, whistling and yelling out encouragement as they stepped up to the stage. It was wonderful to see all of the smiles on their faces, knowing that they were appreciated for the hard work they do.
My mother in law was one of those honored. She has been a nurse for 50 years now. As a matter of fact, she recently attended her 50 year reunion at St. John's Nursing School in Springfield, Missouri. She has not taken one break from nursing in her entire career and continues to work in the Jefferson Parish mental health system at an outpatient clinic. At an age when she could easily be retired, she chooses to continue to help others.
My hat is off to all of the RNs who were honored last night, each of whom has their own story of perseverance and dedication. Congratulations to all!