A salute to nurses

It’s National Nurses Week, a moment to recognize the challenging and critical work of the three million registered nurses across the country. Each and every day, nurses provide highly skilled care to every member of our society — babies and seniors, rich and poor, friends and strangers. Nurses help us stay healthy and care for us when we’re sick. Today, we recognize their compassionate devotion to others by giving you three reasons you should thank a nurse this week.

Nurses are brave
“At the height of the pandemic, the world saw just how much nurses risk and sacrifice to care for others,” said Heather Franci, Chief Nursing Officer at Penn Highlands DuBois and Service Line Director for The Heart Center, The Lung Center, Brain & Spine and Oncology Services. “And that has always been true. Before the pandemic and after, nurses have always given so much of themselves.”

Their bravery goes beyond putting their personal health at risk. Nurses deal with difficult emotions on a daily basis, taking in the grief, loss and pain of patients and families who look to them to feel better. According to Nursing Central, 2.7 million nurses reported feeling burnt out from emotional exhaustion. Nurses sacrifice an immense amount of emotional energy to support patients and their families in some of the most challenging moments imaginable.

Nurses prioritize your needs
Not only does everyone have different needs, everyone has different goals and priorities when it comes to their healthcare. Nurses listen closely, ask questions and take the time to truly know and understand their patients so that they can provide them with the best care possible.

“Personalized healthcare is the next frontier in care, and nurses are on the front lines of that revolution,” said Franci. “Nurses form deep connections with their patients, and that results in better outcomes, from preventing diseases in high-risk individuals to helping patients make the right decisions for themselves and their family.”

Nurses advocate for their patients
“The healthcare journey is complex and always changing,” said Franci. “Understandably, patients often feel like they’re not on solid ground when trying to navigate the system, and that can make it hard for patients to advocate for themselves. That’s where nurses come in.”

Nurses are often one of the primary points of contact for patients, and they act as the link between the patient and the healthcare system. From carefully and clearly explaining health issues to walking patients through treatment options and answering questions, nurses are a patient’s best advocate.

In addition, sick or incapacitated patients may be unable to articulate what they want or need. In these cases, nurses look out for their patients’ best interests by consulting with family members.

There are a million reasons to thank a nurse today. From birth to adolescence and adulthood, nurses impact every stage of our lives. This week and every week, we express our deep gratitude to those who have committed themselves to caring for us. On behalf of everyone at Penn Highlands Healthcare, thank you for everything you do.

Penn Highlands Healthcare provides residents with access to the region’s best hospitals, with each facility being among the larger employers in its hometown. Careers at Penn Highlands offer work-life balance, with time to enjoy the many aspects of the area, including easy commutes, friendly neighbors and plenty of space to explore. To learn more about career opportunities at Penn Highlands, visit