Navy Nurse Corps Celebrates 105th Birthday at NHOH

By Sharon McIntyre, Naval Hospital Oak Harbor Public Affairs Officer

Oak Harbor, Wash. – Naval Hospital Oak Harbor (NHOH) Nurses celebrated their 105th birthday with a week of events May 5-10.

This year’s Nurses Week theme “Nurses: A Belief in Caring, Faith in Healing” was presented to Capt. Jean Proano, executive officer NHOH, and Cmdr. Brian McCann, acting director for nursing, by Oak Harbor Mayor Scott Dudley and City Councilman Rick Almberg at the May 7 City Council Meeting.

“It was an honor for me and Cmdr. Brian McCann to represent the nearly 100 nurses at Naval Hospital Oak Harbor in receiving Mayor Dudley’s proclamation recognizing 6-12 May as Nurses’ Week,” said Proano.

Proano said that the NHOH team consists of contract civilians, federal government service, and active duty Navy nurses.

“We share many experiences in caring for patients across a variety of settings,” said Proano. “Our nurses thrive as members of the medical home and aviation medicine teams, our surgery clinics, operating room, and post anesthesia care unit, the medical/surgical ward, and all our maternal services departments, as well as occupational health and our urgent care center.”

In addition to Nurses’ Week the Navy Nurse Corps celebrates 105 years of dedicated service in the care of patients across the globe, May 13.

“Our nurses have deployed to austere places, participated in humanitarian, disaster relief, and combat missions, said Proano. “Our contributions as a whole are exemplary and in keeping with the 2013 theme for National Nurses’ Week: Nurses: Innovators in Quality Patient Care,” said Proano.

The festivities began on May 5, when a group of nurses boarded a ferry to Friday Harbor, San Juan Island and enjoyed a leisurely lunch and day of sightseeing with colleagues and family. The week-long celebration concluded with a cake cutting ceremony and the traditional corps birthday messages read to those in attendance.

Nurses are key advocates for their patients ensuring they receive safe and quality care. They spend a great deal of time with their patients and gain their trust, alleviate their fears, anxiety and pain. This trust has been validated by the Annual Gallup Survey naming the nursing profession as the number one “most trusted profession in America” for the past decade.

The Nurse Corps was established with the first “Sacred Twenty Nurses”: a Navy Department circular order established the designation of Nurse on June 19, 1861, to be filled by junior enlisted men. Fifteen years later, the duties were transferred to the designation Bayman per U.S. Regulations of 1876.

Oak Harbor Mayor Scott Dudley far right along with City  Council Member Mr. Rick Almberg presents Nurses Week Proclamation to Executive Officer, Capt. Jean Proano and Acting, Director of Nursing Cmdr. Brian McCann at the May 7 City Council Meeting. Photo by Sharon McIntyre.

Oak Harbor Mayor Scott Dudley far right along with City Council Member Mr. Rick Almberg presents Nurses Week Proclamation to Executive Officer, Capt. Jean Proano and Acting, Director of Nursing Cdr. Brian McCann at the May 7 City Council Meeting. Photo by Sharon McIntyre.

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