May 5, 2017

To our nation’s nurses: Thank you for answering the call

She grew up in a tiny, remote town in Nepal. As a teenager, she knew she wanted to become a nurse because she saw a need for basic health care in her country. When she became a nursing student, she had to hike for days just to get to her nursing school, and then had to hike back home when there were school breaks. She later became a nurse in Nepal, helping bring babies into the world. That was how committed she was then. And she is just as committed today – years later here in America – as a nurse at Kaiser Permanente.

Recently, she took care of a patient who was about to undergo a medical procedure. With compassion and empathy, she shared her experiences from the heart. And she brought her patient the kind of comfort that comes from being in the hands of someone whose work is not just a job, but a calling.

I know this story well because I was that patient. And that nurse is one of the 54,000 dedicated nurses we have at Kaiser Permanente.

To be cared for by a nurse who cares this much about helping people touched me deeply. Across our country, there are countless stories of how America’s nurses touch the lives of so many patients and their families.

Nurses use their heads and hearts to deliver exceptional, compassionate care to patients. They have extraordinary gifts. The ability to make you laugh when you can barely smile. The innate confidence to lift your spirits. The warmth and professionalism that create a sense of security when you're feeling vulnerable.

They do all this and more because their work is more than a career for them – it’s their calling. And they continue to answer the call each and every day. They are devoted to a higher purpose, a noble desire to care for the vulnerable and the sick, to tend to those in need, and to help restore them to health. They and their families have made so many sacrifices to be there for us – to help heal mind, body and spirit.

So as we celebrate National Nurses Week, I salute and recognize the nurses of Kaiser Permanente, and all nurses everywhere. Thank you for answering the call and for bringing us health and healing.


Bernard J. Tyson

Chairman and CEO, Kaiser Permanente