May 6th is the ‘official’ start of Nurses’ Week in the U.S.  And each year, the celebration ends on May 12th which is Florence Nightingale’s birthday.  And so it is with each year, I celebrate and honor my fellow nurses for their intellect, their compassion, and their dedication to what has become the most trusted profession.

This year, I want to give a special ‘shout out’ to recently retired nurse, Marsha Davidson, RN, MSN, CWOCN.  I met Marsha in May 1982 when she was caring for my mom, Peg Long, who was a patient on her unit.  Marsha worked 3-11 so she was often working when I visited after college classes.  She made Mom laugh, she took good care of her, and that care extended to me and my family.  One day in particular bonded Marsha and I together for all these years.  It was the day I learned that my mom had terminal cancer.

Mom died three months later, in May, and in August, I graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Communications.  After a year working at the Philadelphia Inquirer, I decided to go to nursing school.  The difference that Marsha had made to my mom and to me changed my life.  Though I often say I would rather have enjoyed my mom for more years, her death and its impact on my life led me to a career in nursing.  A decision that I have never, ever regretted.

So this Nurses’ Week, I want to proudly say “Thank You, Marsha, for being a wonderful nurse. You changed my life by the care you gave my mom.  No doubt you changed a lot of lives just by doing what you loved.”

Happy Nurses’ Week!!!