Guest Post: Celebrating National Nurses Week


It is my pleasure to share a message from Dr. Marsha Rappley, Virginia Commonwealth University Vice President for Health Sciences and CEO of the VCU Health System.


In celebration of National Nurses Week, I would like to share my gratitude to our nursing team at VCU Health. Our nurses have set a high bar for patient care. They were the first in the nation to earn 10 Beacon Awards for nursing excellence; today they hold eleven. Further, they have been instrumental in VCU Medical Center being recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital for demonstrating excellence in patient care. Nurses are the backbone of patient care at VCU Health, and these awards are a testament to the standard of excellence our nurses strive for in delivering care. Their daily dedication to improving the lives of our patients and their families is truly deserving of celebration.

I began my medical career in nursing and I can tell you from experience that what sets nursing apart is the personal nature of the work. Many careers require dedication and sacrifice in service to others, but nursing is unique in the personal connection a nurse forms with those they serve. Recently, I had the opportunity to see our nurses in action from the patient point of view.  I was impressed by the compassion and professionalism of our team, but what really stood out to me was the spirit our nurses brought to their work. That relentless positivity, even when the work is tough, speaks to the character of our nurses.

VCU Health cannot be a leader in health care without great people. This is why we are so fortunate to employ 1,250 graduates from the VCU School of Nursing. For 125 years, the VCU School of Nursing has been preparing students to be the type of nurses that make a real impact in the lives of the people they serve. This pipeline of talented nursing graduates is one of the intersections of education, innovative science, and care that sets us apart.

Our nurses, as well as our nursing students, educators, and researchers, play a critical role in the care we provide our patients. They are always willing to go above and beyond for our patients, and they always put the needs of the patient first. They make us better caregivers and serve as models to emulate as we move the future of health care forward. So let me once more say “Thank you!” to all of the nurses, students, and researchers of VCU Health and our School of Nursing.