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New Profiles of Michigan's Nurses

You may remember this May -- as part of Nurses Week – we collected the stories of nurses throughout the state asking, “Why nursing?”

We were overwhelmed with the outpouring of responses. There was no way for us to get to everyone who had interesting, important and inspiring stories to share.

This week, we have three new profiles of nurses: Steven Witkowski, MSA, RN, Nancy George, PhD, RN, and Sue Putman, BSN MEd.

These three nurses represent important, but often undiscussed (at least in our profiles) roles in nursing. Mr. Witkowski is the director of surgical services and is an OR nurse, Dr. George is a research academic, and Ms. Putman works in a school-based program for students with special health needs.

Mr. Witkowski nicely summarized the different role nurses play, saying “If you enjoy helping people, nursing has many, diverse opportunities.”

Although Steven works in the hospital – the most common setting for nurses – his role leading the operating room is one few in the general public would imagine.

Leading the OR team brings together many of the essential skills in nursing: communication, patient advocacy, collaboration, and evidence-based practice.

Another role that combines these important skills is the dual roles Nancy George, Phd RN has as an academic and advanced nurse practitioner.

Dr. George says she tries to teach not only science and research skills with her students, but instill in her nursing students the importance of networking and collective action to bridge education and practice.

She told us “the beauty of nursing is that it provides a background for endless professional opportunities many that are not hospital-based.”

One of these professional roles Sue Putman, BSN, MEd fills as a specialist in a school-based program for children with special health care needs.

One of the most important skill Sue needs in working with these children, their parents, and other non-health professional colleagues is communication and teamwork.

Dealing with emotionally-charged situations involving parents and children wasn’t often covered in the nursing school curriculum. Sue has a great insight into how the role of nursing fits in perfectly, saying “nursing is about working closely with the whole person: physical, mental and social.”

These three individuals represent some of what makes Michigan’s nursing community great: the too-often under- (or un-) recognized contributions 166,000 nurses make each day caring for some part of the public.

Want to share your story? Or have someone you want us to profile? Contact us here

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