East Cooper Medical Center celebrates Nurses Week 2020, awards Nurse of the Year

East Cooper Medical Center honors its nurses during National Nurses Week (May 6-12), an annual celebration that recognizes the value of nursing. The theme this year, Compassion|Expertise|Trust, celebrates qualities in nursing that are perhaps more important today than ever before as nurses are serving on the front lines of care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Nursing is one of the most rewarding careers, but also one of the most challenging,” said Patrick Downes, East Cooper Medical Center CEO. “During these extraordinary times, we couldn’t be more thankful for all of our nurses and the hard work they put in every day. This celebratory week is about paying tribute to them and the daily impact they have on our patients’ lives.”

Congratulations to Kate Kiel for being named the 2020 East Cooper Medical Center Nurse of the Year! Kiel works as a registered nurse in the hospital’s Outpatient Infusion Center.

National Nurses Week is celebrated annually from May 6, also known as National Nurses Day, through May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. The year 2020, Florence’s 200th birthday, has been declared the Year of the Nurse. Like Florence Nightingale, hundreds of thousands of nurses stand on the front lines of a pandemic. Today, as Florence Nightingale did in her time, our nurses’ represent a profession of advocacy and strength and are respected for their compassion and commitment to patient care.

Nursing has been described as an art and a science that embraces dedicated people with varied interests and strengths because of the many opportunities the field offers. Our nurses have many roles – from staff nurse to nursing leader and educator to nurse practitioner – and they serve these roles with a passion for the profession and a strong commitment to patient safety.

Kiel says she knew she wanted to be a nurse since she was 5 years old. As a teenager, she worked in a nursing home as a nurse’s aide. Her advice to aspiring nurses is: “Make a difference in everything you do for your patients. Be a good role model, stay positive, support each other and remember that the expert was once a beginner, too.”