Nurses are amazing: Celebrate one today
When you, or a family member, need medical attention, one of the first people you encounter may be a nurse. Nurses provide constant care throughout the patient journey. From helping patients understand their treatment, through assisting with procedures, to the administration of medicine - the role of nurses is pivotal. Nurses are the critical-thinking, quick-acting, deeply caring professionals at the heart of good patient care. The United States is currently facing a profound shortage of nurses, with a nationwide vacancy rate of more than 4 percent. This shortage of nurses, coupled with the importance of their role as frontline health care providers, clearly demonstrates the need for targeted programs that support the recruitment and retention of nurses nationwide. The Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing's Future is one such program, a decade-long effort to support the profession, recruit and retain nurses, and strengthen the nursing community. In 2011, the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing's Future created the Amazing Nurses contest to publicly recognize and celebrate the essential role that nurses play in patient care and the health care field. The contest gives patients, their families and communities the opportunity to nominate and vote on individual nurses and read their stories of dedication to healing. Lillian Shockney was the winner of the 2011 Amazing Nurses contest. A registered nurse, Shockney has worked to transform the face of breast cancer treatment and survival during her career at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. "It is a wonderful feeling to know that you are helping someone at a time when they feel quite vulnerable and scared," she says. "I consider it a privilege to be in the lives of cancer patients and their families, to lighten their burdens, reduce their fears and support them through their journey with breast cancer treatment." The Amazing Nurses contest continues in 2012 to celebrate and recognize the nurses across America who work tirelessly to care for their patients. Whether they're helping someone during a health crisis, involving the family in a patient's care, or assisting with a medical treatment, nurses bring a wealth of medical knowledge, compassion and dedication to their jobs every day. The Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing's Future, launched in 2002, is a national initiative to enhance the image of the nursing profession, recruit new nurses and nurse faculty and help retain nurses currently in the profession. For a decade, the Campaign for Nursing's Future has worked in cooperation with professional nursing organizations, schools, hospitals and other health care groups to promote opportunities in nursing and increase awareness of the value of the nursing profession. The Amazing Nurses contest extends these efforts by acknowledging that individual nurses must be recognized and appreciated by their families, patients and communities. This year's winning Amazing Nurse and his/her guest will attend the 2012 CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute show in Los Angeles, courtesy of CNN. He or she will also be honored in a video profile, which will be screened before the live audience at the show, and featured on The Nursing Notes by Johnson & Johnson Facebook page at www.facebook.com/jnjnursingnotes. Anyone can nominate and vote for a nurse who has had a significant impact on their life, or a loved one's, by going to www.facebook.com/jnjnursingnotes. The contest can also be followed via Twitter at @JNJNursingNotes and #AmazingNurses.