A Tribute to Nursing from Driscoll’s Chief Nursing Officer

Today marks the start of National Nurses Week (May 6-12). We are also in the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. In honor of these events, Julie Piña, MSN, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC, Chief Nursing Officer for Driscoll Children’s Hospital, offers her perspective on nursing: 

When the World Health Organization named 2020 the “International Year of the Nurse and Midwife”, COVID-19 was not in the global spotlight as it is now.  2020 is a year none of us who work in health care will ever forget. 

The goal of WHO’s campaign is based on the belief that by having a strong nursing and midwifery base, the world is better positioned to achieve universal health coverage and improve global health.  Nurses must also be able to work at their full potential in environments that are safe from personal harm, and where they are respected as part of an integrated health care team. 

At Driscoll Children’s Hospital, the thought is the same.  By having a strong nursing base where nurses at all levels can work at their maximum potential in a safe environment, where they are respected as integral members of the healthcare team, together we can work to serve more and more children of south Texas.   

Whether we work in an ambulatory setting, acute care or in advanced practice role—none of us can do what we do without our team working beside us, so thank you to our entire healthcare team while we recognize nurses during national Nurses week. 

As an RN for 36 years, I LOVE being a nurse and wouldn’t trade what I have experienced for anything else out there.  I had a “friend” ask me several years ago, after I had moved in to an administrative role, that since I was no longer a “real” nurse, what did I do all day?  My response then was no different than it is today.  Being a nurse is not just a job to me.  It is not something I turn on or off, depending on where I am, or what time of the day it is.  Being a nurse is a belief.  It is a way of life.  You just are.    

My badge does not make me a nurse, nor does my title. I don’t put my “nurse hat” on the shelf when I go home at the end of the day.  The expectations and privileges of getting to be a nurse in the first place, are sacred and special.  Explaining what being a nurse is like to others is often difficult to put in to words….unless you are a nurse.  There are unwritten expectations, almost instinctive actions that nurses just do, because they know what it means to be a nurse.  So, this year, even with COVID-19 disrupting life as we knew it, the role of the nurse remains as vital and important as it ever was.  Thank you for choosing to be a nurse.  We celebrate you and we thank you. 

Julie Piña, MSN, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC
Chief Nursing Officer