Thank you to our nurses

A Leger Marketing survey released in late March indicates that 95 per cent of Canadians trust nurses. Nursing is the second-most trusted profession right behind fire-fighting. It is no wonder: nurses are the backbone of the health care system. During Nursing Week, which is celebrated every year throughout Canada during the week of Florence Nightingale’s May 12th birthday, I would like to recognize the year-round devotion and achievements of the Children’s 600 nurses who contribute enormously to the well-being of our patients and their families.

For over 150 years, nursing has been a profession with the highest standards and a strong sense of public service. There are very few Quebecers who can say their lives haven’t been touched in one way or another by one of this province’s 70,587 caring and compassionate nurses.

The nursing profession is reaching new levels of competency as the demand for more complex nursing care increases. There are now 19 highly skilled nurse practitioners working at the MUHC with six of them based at the MCH.

The MCH continues to feel the impact of the world-wide nursing shortage. However, thanks to the MCH interdisciplinary team approach to care, and the fact that, within the hospital, our nurses’ counsel is sought and valued, we are becoming known as the place to work and new nurses are joining our ranks.

We also acknowledge the outstanding nursing leadership provided by our Associate Director of Nursing, Barbara Izzard, who has worked to establish programs that will help us recruit and retain nurses. One example of an innovative recruiting program is the hiring of second-year nursing students for summer stages. Upon graduation, many of these nurses accept fulltime positions with us. To help with retention, we allow nurses interested in clinical care and in teaching to divide their time between the two. We actively recruit nurses from abroad and our nurse managers regularly use the On-the-Spot Recognition Program developed by Human Resources. The hospital has established a Comité jeunesse, a nursing mentorship program. This is just a sampling of the many efforts being made to expand our nursing ranks.

During nursing week, I want to thank each of you for your devotion to the MCH and to recognize your critical role as members of our interdisciplinary health care teams. You provide services for our patients and their families 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days every year. For this, we are sincerely grateful.

Dr. Harvey Guyda
Associate Executive Director
The Montreal Children’s Hospital