May 5, 2020



Mahaska Health is excited to celebrate our nurses and all that they do each and every day. We would like to wish a heartfelt “Happy National Nurses Week” to all nurses in Mahaska County and beyond who have dedicated their lives to providing excellent care to those in need.


Each year, May 6th through May 12th, our nation celebrates the commitment of nurses to their patients and communities. 2020 marks the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth and has been designated the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.


The week of recognition ends annually on Nightingale’s birthday, May 12th. Nightingale is recognized as the founder of modern nursing, establishing the first nursing school in London in 1860. The Nightingale Pledge, taken by new nurses is named in her honor.


The theme for National Nurses Week 2020 is Compassion. Expertise. Trust.


In recent weeks, nurses have answered a challenging call. They have responded with teamwork, innovation, and a continued drive to provide high quality, compassionate patient care. “We truly have the best team here,” shared Andrea Hagist, Mahaska Health Chief Nursing Officer. “Entering into 2020, we could not have anticipated how different Nurses Week would look this year, but our team has stepped up in an amazing way.”


Across the nation, nurses make up the largest healthcare profession. “There are around 4 million nurses in the United States, and over 60 thousand licensed and registered nurses in Iowa alone, so it’s likely you know a nurse,” shared Hagist. “During this week I encourage you to join us in thanking them for their work and the impact they have made.”


Nurses at Mahaska Health make many contributions at the bedside and beyond. From direct patient care, quality and public health, to leadership and more their impacts are felt throughout the hospital and the community on a daily basis.


“We are so grateful for our community, there has been an outpouring of support and encouragement and that means more to us than anyone can put into words.” Stated Surgical Services Nurse, Jodi Chipman, I am passionate about caring for others and comforting them in their time of need. When people are ill, preparing for a surgical procedure, or having their first child, they are looking for compassion and they need and deserve love and kindness.


“I became a nurse because I have always liked helping people. To be able to help someone who is sick get better and help their families understand and comfort them – that’s when I knew this is what I was meant to do,” stated Erica Strunk, Obstetrics Nurse.


Cardiopulmonary Nurse, Renee Edgar believes that nurses play an important role in preventative health and patient education. feels blessed to provide education and care of lifelong value to patients. “We play an important part in hospitalization prevention, and patient education on a routine basis, helping patients better manage their own health,” she shared.


Developing and maintaining patient trust is a key component of nursing. “I love the bonds we form with patients,” shared Medical Group Nurse, Dana Pace. “Patients truly remember the things we’ve done for them, and that reinforces the feeling that [nurses] can make a difference.”


Mahaska Health asks the community to join them in thanking nurses locally and across the country this week. “As nurses, during this week we celebrate past generations of nurse leaders and reflect how they have inspired us and laid the groundwork for nursing today,” Hagist shared.


Please join us in thanking our nurses across the country and celebrating the work of amazing nursing teams this week. As we reflect on and celebrate past generations of nurse leaders and how they have inspired us and laid the groundwork for where we are today, we are grateful.



Nurses Week History

1954 Nurses Week was first proposed by the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.


1974 The International Council of Nurses proclaimed May 12th would be “International Nurses Day.”


1982 President Reagan proclaimed May 6th to be “National Recognition Day for Nurses.”


1993 The American Nurses Association declared May 6-12 as permanent dates to observe National Nurses Week from 1994 onward.