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National Nurses Week wraps up with awards and gratitude

National Nurses Week celebration looked a little different this year, but the adapted observance surely would have pleased nurse trailblazer Florence Nightingale, whose 200th birthday celebration closed out the annual observance on May 13.

At Hershey Medical Center, there were Hershey Bar Candy Rounds by Penn State Health leadership, Random Acts of Kindness deliveries by the Reward and Recognition Council, to-go breakfasts hosted by the Clinical Ladder professional program, raffled gift cards, not to mention Florence Nightingale Cake Wars, where teams of nurses from different floors competed to decorate cakes in her honor.

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2020 National Nurses Week celebration - Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

The annual nursing awards went mobile this year, with nursing leaders delivering the awards to the winners on each unit.

One of the winners was Kaylee Colemire, registered nurse in the Medical Intermediate Care Unit (MICU), who earned the Excellence in Nursing Quality and Safety Award.

She is currently taking the lead as project manager to create a policy to guide comfort care for palliative, end-of-life and terminally ill patients. Colemire recognized the need and took initiative to reach out and gather consensus among stakeholders.

“She is hoping to streamline the process for providing better care to this vulnerable patient population and provide further education to the nurses caring for these patients,” said Laura Bredin, registered nurse, MICU, who nominated Colemire for the award.

Colemire’s passion for nursing makes her a great role model to her peers, said Lauren Allison, nurse manager, MICU. Sarah Gavigan, clinical practice nurse leader, MICU, added, “No matter how busy she is, she never gets too caught up in tasks to overlook the big picture – always advocating for her patients.”

In all, 24 nurses won excellence awards. Read a list of all the winners here.

Penn State Health St. Joseph plans to celebrate Nurses Week at a later date.

Judy Himes, senior vice president and chief nursing officer at Hershey Medical Center, expressed deep gratitude. “Nurses at all levels and in all settings contribute to the mission of our organization,” she said.

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