Osage County celebrates ‘Nurses Leading the Way’

Staff Writer
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

The Osage County Health Department joins the American Nurse Association, Oklahoma State Department of Health, health care professionals, patients and families, during National Nurses Week, May 6-12, in recognizing the important roles that nurses have in providing direct personal health care for patients and families and providing leadership in forming public health policies to improve the quality of care and quality of life for Oklahomans of all ages.

This year’s theme, “Nurses: Leading the Way,” recognizes nurses as leaders at the bedside, in the boardroom, throughout communities and in the halls of government. For the past 12 years, the public has ranked nursing as the top profession for honesty and ethics in an annual Gallup survey.

There are about 3.1 million registered nurses nationally, with about 50,000 registered nurses working in Oklahoma. Nurses impact all areas of public health by serving as program administrators and consultants to working with individual clients in the clinics. About 500 public health nurses, at both the county health departments and at the OSDH central office, work diligently to assist in accreditation processes.

Nurses practice in diverse roles, such as clinicians, administrators, researchers, educators, care coordinators, and policymakers. They help patients secure resources, obtain comprehensive care across many service areas, and develop healthy lifestyle practices to prevent sickness and diseases. Increasingly, nurses with advanced degrees, such as nurse practitioners, are providing primary care services, managing chronic illnesses, and experiencing positive outcomes.

The public health nurses in Osage County help improve the health for entire populations through providing services like child screenings, immunizations, WIC, maternal and child health services.

“We want to thank our very own public health nurses at the Osage County Health Department. If you see them out in the community or here at the office, be sure to let them know how much you appreciate their services,” said Mary Beth Murray.

The nurses in the Osage County Health Department are Laurie Wassom and Nancy Horton.