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55th Wing recognizes National Nurses Week

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --

The nurses and medical technicians of the Fighting Fifty-Fifth, Ehrling Bergquist Clinic encourage you to learn a bit more about the advancement of their craft during the annual observance of National Nurses Week, May 6 - 12.

According to American Nurses Association, this year’s observance theme is “Nursing: the Balance of Mind, Body, and Spirit.”  The annual observance dates back to 1954, when “National Nurse Week” marked the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s mission to Crimea.  It wasn’t officially recognized by the United States until President Nixon signed a proclamation 20 years later.  In 1993, the American Nurses Association Board of Directors declared May 6 - 12 as the permanent dates to observe National Nurses Week, as a commemoration to Nightingale whose birthday is May 12.

Today, the Air Force Medical Service, adapted the “Total Nursing Force” concept that incorporates the Nurse Corps and Aerospace Medical Technician career fields as “one team” in providing world-class patient care. Total nursing force also includes our civilian Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical / Vocational Nurses. 

Col. Lester Loreto, 55th Medical Group chief nurse and Senior Master Sgt. Melissa Johnson, career functional manager for the medical technicians - with the help of a volunteer team, will kick-off the celebration on Monday, May 8, with breakfast and a lecture.  The week will finish out on Friday, May 12 with a free coffee bar open to the entire nurse technician staff. The team will also conduct trivia games with prizes throughout the week’s observance.

“The week’s observance honors the contributions of registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses, licensed practical nurses, and medical technicians,” Laredo said. “The highly skilled professionals who possess critical-thinking, problem-solving and care-coordination skills that ensure effective and safe care”.

The diversity of nurses and technicians at the 55 MDG are comprised of active duty members, Department of Defense civilian and contractors, totaling 128 members.  The nursing specialties consist of Family Health, Pediatrics, Women’s Health, Ambulance Services, Immunizations, Internal Medicine, Flight Operations Medicine, Personnel Reliability Program, Outpatient Procedures, Orthopedics, Referral Management, Case Management, Disease Management, Utilization Management, Health Care Integration, Quality Manager, Education and Training, New Parent Support Program, and Nurse Practitioners with specialties in Family Health, Pediatrics, and Mental Health.

"Nurse and technician week is significant because it recognizes the hard work, dedication, and sacrifices of our nurses and technicians,” Johnson said.  “Our medics are highly trained and deploy all over the world to deliver the highest quality medical care to our war fighters. This week is a way to say thank you to our awesome medics!"

“Spend a week checking the pulse of those who have pledged to check yours,” she added. 

The Total Nursing Force at the 55 MDG work together as one team in delivering Patient-Centered Medical Home Care with focus on quality, trusted healthcare and patient safety. The culture of patient safety truly starts with them.