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May 13, 2013

Naval Hospital Beaufort Celebrates the Navy Nurse Corps’ 105th Birthday and Honors Nursing Profession

Naval Hospital Beaufort has been celebrating the achievements of civilian and military nurses beginning last week, during National Nurses Week, culminating with a cake-cutting ceremony on the hospital’s quarterdeck today, the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps’ 105th birthday. 

“This is an opportunity to thank our nurses for their dedication to the nursing profession,” said Capt. Lena Jones, Naval Hospital Beaufort’s director of nursing services and the hospital’s senior nurse.  “As nurses, we work in different settings and serve in many roles, but we all share a single focus – keeping patients safe by providing quality nursing care.”

Today, all nurses gathered on the quarterdeck for a cake-cutting ceremony to honor the Nurse Corps’ 105th birthday as well as celebrate the many contributions of all nursing staff for their hard work and dedication to providing health care excellence. 

“This honors the accomplishments, courage, and commitment of Navy nurses who have helped to set the bar high for military medicine around the world,” said Jones during remarks at the ceremony.  “Nurse corps officers provide compassionate, high quality nursing care in such places as austere battlefields and hospital ships to our hospitals and clinics around the globe and at home.  Navy nurses also play an integral role in the professional development of our hospital corpsman.  We may have the best equipped medical facilities and trained staff in the combat zone, the fleet and field units, but it is the corpsman who will keep patients alive until they can reach that higher level of care.  Part of our mission as Navy nurses and one that I cannot emphasize enough is the sacred trust of ensuring our corpsman receive the training they need.”

Jones also remarked that the Navy nurses at Naval Hospital Beaufort serve as advanced practice nurses such as nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and provide nursing care to patients at the hospital, the branch health clinics, and, while on deployment or at combat hospitals. 

“The dedication of the Navy Nurse Corps has earned them a prominent place in the United States Navy,” said Jones.  “To our 47 Navy nurses assigned to Naval Hospital Beaufort and the 4,000 active duty and reserve nurse corps officers, I would like to say thank you for your service, sacrifice, and dedication.”

Last week, nurses at the naval hospital were recognized with several different events including a “blessing of the hands” ceremony, a Naval Hospital Beaufort tradition in which the nurses gather as the hospitals’ chaplain, Lt. Cmdr. Timothy Powell, says a prayer of blessing for the care that nurses provide.

Additional events included a breakfast potluck and a fitness challenge, which provided an opportunity for nurses to help emphasize the key role that wellness activities, such as eating well and getting exercise, play in maintaining overall health.

“Recognizing the contributions of both our Navy and civilian nursing staff is important because they are vital to the execution of Navy Medicine’s mission,” said Capt. Joan Queen, the commanding officer of the naval hospital.  “Our nurses are on the frontlines of keeping our active duty service members medically ready to serve at home and abroad.  They are also dedicated to providing quality health care to our retirees, who have served our nation so well, and the families of both active and retired service members.  I am truly proud of the work they do each and every day to embody our motto of ‘always caring.’”

Open since 1949, Naval Hospital Beaufort provides general medical, surgical, and emergency services to all active duty personnel, as well as retired military and family members residing in the Beaufort area, a total population of approximately 29,000 beneficiaries.