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Story ideas for Nurses Week 2007


ANN ARBOR, MI – The work of America’s 2.9 million registered nurses to save lives and to maintain the health of millions of individuals is the focus of this year’s National Nurses Week, celebrated annually May 6-12 throughout the United States. This year, the American Nurses Association has selected “Nursing: A Profession and a Passion” as the theme for Nurses Week.

At the University of Michigan Health System, nurses are a vital part of the high level of care provided to patients. Below, we offer some story ideas for you to consider printing or airing in honor of Nurses Week.

Professional development and mentoring: The UMHS Nursing department’s newly opened Center for Professional Development and Mentoring (CPDM) is dedicated to helping nurses advance in their careers. This center, a collaboration with the U-M School of Nursing, includes a resource center and career coaching free of charge. One of the biggest services provided is CareeRxel, a program that helps nurses assess their work skills and create a professional development plan for the future. In addition, the center is in the process of developing a large pool of experienced mentors who can share their knowledge and experience with other nurses. For more information, visit

Nursing in Michigan: “It’s A Guy Thing Too!”: In Michigan, 7 percent of active registered nurses and 5 percent of active LPNs are male. The Michigan Center for Nursing has sponsored a campaign called The Nursing in Michigan: It’s a Guy Thing Too!, and posters will be used to promote the recruitment of men into the nursing profession. At U-M, Blair Dudley, RN, Jeff Thomas, RN and Nick Reinemeyer, RN are all featured in the poster. To view the poster, go to

Free professional development – on a bus to Chicago!: To thank nurses for their outstanding service, the UMHS Nursing department is offering free online continuing education courses to all their nurses for one year. Additionally, the Nursing department is chartering buses that will take nurses to Chicago and to Detroit Tiger games. Nurses will receive continuing education credits on the bus as they make their way to their destination, then enjoy shopping, sight-seeing or a game.

Earning your bachelor of nursing degree without leaving the building: The UMHS Department of Nursing and the U-M School of Nursing offer a program that allows registered nurses to complete coursework for their bachelor of science in nursing degree at the U-M Hospital. The Onsite BSN Completion program is at the end of its second year; it takes three years for nurses to complete the degree. Nursing administrators at UMHS conducted a survey of nurses with associate’s degrees, and almost all who responded said they would be interested if such a program were offered on-site. U-M nurses as well as those who do not work at U-M are invited to join the program.

Nursing profile: The DAISY Award for outstanding care by a nurse was given at UMHS for the first time this year. The honoree is David Caraballo, and the award is sponsored by Sharman Lamka of Milford, Mich., in honor of her late husband Philip, who passed away in June of 2005 after a long battle with lung disease. Ms. Lamka chose Caraballo after witnessing the extraordinary care he gave her and her husband during his final days. Read more at

Call for a Lifeline: The UMHS Michigan Visiting Nurses organization is offering a service called Lifeline, which allows family members to know that older adults or people with disabilities have easy access to help. Lifeline users wear a lightweight, waterproof button; if they require assistance, they only have to press their button to signal their Lifeline Home Communicator to dial the 24/7 Response Center. A team of Lifeline Personal Response Associates have all the medical and personal information to get them help quickly. U-M employees, faculty members, retirees, students and alumni are eligible to receive a 10 percent discount off the monthly fee for Lifeline services. Call the Michigan Visiting Nurses Lifeline Program for more information at 734-477-7229, or visit

Shadow a nurse: Unlike their counterparts at smaller hospitals, UMHS nurses have a wealth of specialized career possibilities open to them. From the neonatal intensive care unit and the emergency department to the Comprehensive Cancer Center and the operating room, UMHS nurses combine technical training, professionalism and personal care to help deliver some of the nation’s best and most advanced health care. The UMHS “Discover Nursing” shadow programs enables student nurses, as well as seasoned nurses from across the state, to experience what nursing at Michigan is all about.

Reporters or producers who would like to shadow a nurse as he or she works should call 734-764-2220.

Written by: Katie Gazella


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