CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo – Multinational Battle Group East soldiers deployed to Kosovo celebrated Nurses’ Week with a Nurse Recognition day May 12.
Florence Nightingale was an English nurse who came to prominence during the Crimean War for her work pioneering modern nursing. Nightingale laid the brickwork for professional nursing by establishing, in 1860, a nursing school at St Thomas' Hospital in London, the first secular nursing school in the world.
The Nightingale Pledge, taken by new nurses, is named in her honor, and International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world each year on her birthday.
The main event took place with a cookout and individual recognition of all the nurses in presentation of gift cards.
Army Lt. Col. John Elzie, the clinical head nurse from Olive Branch, Miss., and Army Maj. Zandra Day, the officer in charge of emergency care from Tifton, Ga., organized the event to both celebrate Nurses’ Week and to recognize their staff at the hospital.
Day said they planned the cookout for the nursing staff on International Nurses Day and involved the support staff to show appreciation for the important role they play in patient care. This year the theme was "Caring Today for a Healthier Tomorrow." The event was designed to raise awareness of the value of nursing and help communicate the role of nurses in patient care.
Army Col. Edwin Moore, of Beverly Hills, Fla., commander of Falcon Medical , has 27 years experience as an emergency care physician in both a military and civilian capacity, took a moment to speak at the cookout to the nursing staff.
"The nurses are the lifeblood of the hospital and we are dependent upon the nurses to take care of the patients and provide the training, and maintain the skills of our paramedical personnel," Moore said.
Moore works at Citrus Memorial Health System in Inverness, Fla. and sees the importance of nursing in the ultimate goal of saving lives.
"I am glad we have National Nurses Week so that we can recognize all the achievements and sacrifices that nurses have made over time," he said. "Nursing is a very dynamic and learned profession. I am very fortunate to practice medicine at a point when nursing is recognized, as it should be, as a respected profession and we can work together as teammates to provide patient care."
Army Sgt. Latiesha Nickerson, a native of Kosciusko, Miss., is an Intensive Care Unit nurse at Camp Bondsteel, but in civilian life she works as a licensed practical nurse at Martin Army Community Hospital, in Fort Benning, Ga. With 11 years in the profession, she finds helping people one of the great benefits.
"I really enjoy patient care and taking care of people. The rewards of nursing and being able to help others have kept me in the field," she said. "Along with being able to take care of people the joy of it is watching people who are ill recover, regaining their health."
Her deployment in Kosovo isn’t the first time she has worked with Moore, her commander now.
"Nickerson is a fine nurse; we worked together at Fort Benning, Ga., where she works as a civilian." Moore said. "Both in her civilian and military life, she is dedicated to caring for soldiers."
Multinational Battle Group East is a U.S- led task force commanded by Army Brig. Gen. Al Dohrmann. This Battle Group is comprised of nearly 1,200 soldiers, including Greece, Poland, Ukraine, and Turkey. The charter mission of MNBG E is maintaining a safe and secure environment and providing freedom of movement for the people in Kosovo.