Here's to the Nurses

Photo: Stephen Travarca

When I think about nursing, I think about the nurses who were there for me when my son was born. 

It was a traumatic birth. Fortunately, the nurses were amazing every step along the way, from labor to delivery to recovery. They told me that everything was going to be alright — and it was, ultimately. I was doing my best to take care of my new baby, and they were there to take care of me. Holding my hand. Making sure I had meals and medications. Helping me get dressed. They may seem like little things, but in moments like those, it’s no little thing to have someone looking out for you and looking after you. 

I’m sure that most of you have a similar story about how nurses were there for you or for someone you love when it really mattered. In this issue of Cleveland Clinic Magazine, we celebrate our remarkable nurse caregivers. 

As my colleague Meredith Foxx, Executive Chief Nursing Officer at Cleveland Clinic, likes to say about nursing: “It’s not what I do; it’s who I am.” We couldn’t think of a more perfect headline for our cover story. As you’ll see, this is more than an occupation for these extraordinary individuals. It’s a calling that reflects, at the core of their being, a perpetual concern for others. 

Make no mistake: It’s also incredibly demanding work that can take a physical, mental and emotional toll. We’ve all heard the news about workforce shortages, career burnout and other challenges facing the nursing profession. 

In our story, you’ll also learn more about several initiatives that Cleveland Clinic has launched to recruit and to retain nurses. To these ends, philanthropy is already making a difference. 

Our Howley ASPIRE Program, for example, provides a pathway to nursing careers for high school students from economically marginalized communities. It was launched in 2016 with the support of Nick and Lorie Howley and the Howley Foundation. Thanks to their continued generosity, we’ve been able to expand the program to accommodate greater numbers of future nurses. 

With your help, we can do even more going forward. Nurses are always there for us. Now let’s be there for them.