Commitment. Dedication. Relentless efforts in the face of a global pandemic. In 2021, honoring our nurses is more important than ever.

Today is International Nurses Day—and Wednesday, May 12, also marks the conclusion of National Nurses Week. The perspective from both ends of the St. Clair nursing staff is paramount to telling the story of why these moments are so important.

Travis Mugabo, a medical/surgical nurse on 5F, joined St. Clair last July.

“It’s always been my goal to come here. St. Clair is like my neighbor, and taking care of my neighbors is more fulfilling than working any place else,” he said.

Having a special callout on the calendar only adds an official layer to an everyday mentality at the Hospital: appreciating nurses.

“The entire week is very exciting, and I’m most looking forward to having our leadership rounding on the units. It’s great for new employees to know who their leaders are, to be able to ask them questions, and to know that they’re here for us even and especially when things get tough.”

Opportunities abound.

“Continuing education is something I value highly. It’s great that the Hospital is showing employees what’s available—all of the resources we have to help advance our careers, skills, and professional development. The more we learn, the better the care we can deliver.”

June will mark 18 years at St. Clair Health for Heather Stanley, an RN in the ICU.

“Honestly…I don’t know what else I would do. I always knew I wanted to go into this field,” she said.

Amidst the escalating challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis, she knew exactly where to turn.

“In our department you can’t go into any room without two or three people asking what they can do to help. As a nurse at St. Clair Health, you’re never alone.”

It’s that spirit of teamwork and togetherness that drives this emerging leader to help others reach for their goals, from continuing education to time management and beyond. Equally important, that same spirit drives her to keep greeting adversity with encouragement.

“Today and this whole week is really about celebrating each other and learning more about what’s out there for you. Whether you’re a young nurse who’s brand-new to the organization or the most tenured nurse on your floor, we’ve helped each other so much this past year and that’s exactly what we’ve got to continue to do—keep hanging in there. It will get better. This week is a nice reminder of that.”

Celebrated. Determined. Reminding us with their actions that no mask can hide their collective spirit.

“It’s nice to be recognized—not just here, but globally. This past year really is proof that nurses are the backbone of healthcare.”