The 23rd annual Public Health Service Nursing Recognition Day was held recently at Natcher Conference Center. The event enables nurses to come together, learn from each other and recognize accomplishments. This year’s theme was “Moving Nursing Forward: Connecting the Dots for Our Future.” Nurses from multiple government agencies, private and public sectors and academia attended. Guests included acting surgeon general Radm. Boris Lushniak, PHS chief nurse officer Radm. Sylvia Trent-Adams and Radm. (ret.) Carol A. Romano, associate dean for academic affairs, Graduate School of Nursing, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.
Lushniak spoke of the essential role nurses play in health care. Keynote speaker Dr. Stephanie L. Ferguson, director of the International Council of Nurses’ Leadership for Change Program, extolled the value and power of nursing education and leadership. Her presentation visibly moved the crowd, incorporating the refrain, “I am a nurse and a leader.” Attendees were left with a palpable sense that, through continual education and strong leadership, anything is possible in the nursing profession. The morning ended with a commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps. Attending were several original members of the corps and their families. These nurses played a vital role in ensuring that the health of the nation was preserved during World War II and years afterwards.