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NEWS | May 3, 2011

Nurses and Medical Technician Celebrating our Unique-ness – Nurses at Joint Base Charleston

By Lt. Col. Rebekah Friday 628th Medical Group

Almost three million registered nurses and more than 500,000 medical para-professionals are working to save lives and maintain the health of millions for a healthier tomorrow. "Nurses Trusted to Care" is the focus of this year's National Nurses' Week, May 6 through 12.

From the air to the ground, the front lines to the front office and from sea to shining sea, military nurses are proudly serving the country and the profession of nursing. Nursing in the military encompasses vast opportunities across the globe.

Nurses are essential members of our nation's health care system. The military nursing professional is well educated in anatomy, physiology, assessment, disease processes and prevention, drug therapy and alternative treatment of both adults and children. All military nurses hold a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing and by the time they've been promoted to the rank of Major in the Air Force, have earned a graduate degree in one of the nursing specialties or related field. Additionally, they hold a national board certification in a nursing specialty. Nurses are highly skilled, technologically savvy, prevention-focused and save lives.

Most nurses enter the profession for the challenges and satisfaction they receive knowing they have made a difference in someone's life, whether it is helping a family welcome a new baby into their lives, supporting a family as they lose a loved one, or helping our Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines return to life at home. The opportunities in nursing are endless: inpatient, outpatient clinical nursing, education, informatics, home health-care, nurse practitioners, anesthesia and midwifery are just a few. There are more than 60 professional nursing organizations that promote excellence and offer specialty certification, including the American Nurses' Association.

In addition to the civilian requirements, Air Force nurses are held to the same stringent standards as all Air Force officers. There are more than 3,000 Air Force nurses serving on active duty. At Joint Base Charleston there are more than 20 military and civilian nurses working in various areas, making significant and unique contributions to the success of the aerospace mission from the Family Health Clinic, Flight Medicine Clinic, Disease Management, Case Management and Utilization Management.

During National Nurses' Appreciation week, remember, thank a nurse.