Nebraskans Celebrate National Hospital and Nursing Week

May 9, 2022, 4:01 p.m. ·

Four hospital staff hold dumbbells while holding a sign that says "We Are Strong"
The theme this year is "We are Health Care," so Columbus Community Hospital asked each department to submit a photo to finish the sentence "We are.." The word chosen may describe their department or represent the whole hospital. In-patient rehabilitation staff submitted this photo Monday. (Photo Courtesy of Columbus Community Hospital)

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National Hospital Week kicked off on May 8. The celebration aligns with National Nursing Week, which started May 6. The theme for this year is “We Are Healthcare.” Nebraska’s hospitals are celebrating with different acts of appreciation for healthcare staff.

It has been a long year for hospitals battling staffing shortages, hospital transfers, and two waves of COVID-19. Now, facilities like McCook’s Community Hospital are providing a week of free food, movie nights, and walks with staff to show their appreciation. Hospital CEO Troy Bruntz said it’s important to celebrate or else they could forget and miss it.

“We've been doing a lot, a lot in the last few years with some pretty stressful things. But it's nice to take a week and just celebrate the fact that we have done so much throughout the year and celebrate the successes that we have accomplished,” Bruntz said.

At Columbus Community Hospital, they are offering a week of free food, drinks, and giveaways. The hospital wants to make sure healthcare providers know they’re supported and loved, said president and CEO Mike Hansen.

“We want to take care of them because they've done such a tremendous job taking care of us. So it's time to pay it back, you know, one week out of the year to pay it back for all that they've done over the last two and a half years,” Hansen said. “I think it's the least we can do.”

On Monday, the Nebraska Hospital Association invited nurses from across the state to reflect on their profession in light of National Nurses week. President of the Nebraska Nurses Association, and one of the speakers, Kair Wade said nursing is a diverse profession, providing more than just bedside care.

“There's a lot of variety of pathways, as we've heard, there's a lot of opportunity for advancement,” Wade said. “Nurses can go on to earn graduate degrees to earn positions in leadership, in academics and in administrative roles.”

Other speakers shared their pride in nursing, not only on the frontlines, but also from academic and advocacy positions. They said the week of recognition is important in a challenging career field.