Not All Heroes Wear Capes, Many Wear Scrubs - SkillGigs
nurse hero

Not All Heroes Wear Capes, Many Wear Scrubs

Nursing is one of the most in-demand jobs today, making it the largest workforce in healthcare. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that employment of registered nurses is to grow at 9 percent from 2020 to 2030, as fast as the average for all occupations.  

Despite the long shifts, these unsung heroes still come to work to play a critical role in patients’ lives and ensure hospitals run smoothly. Undoubtedly, nurses go above and beyond, and the world is a much better and healthier place.  

SkillGigs celebrates nurses for their hard work, compassion and determination. One week is just not enough to show our appreciation but we are so proud to take part in Nurses Week. In honor of Nurses Week 2022, we are highlighting five nurses that made history. We hope this is a reminder to you that your profession is leaving a footprint on this earth. We share these five along with our unique, SkillGigs’ take on key learnings as it relates to today’s nursing profession. 

Clara Barton  

Clara Barton is the founder of the American Red Cross. Clara was a teacher before she pursued nursing. Her desire to help others led her to start her medical career during the Civil War. She started delivering supplies for the Union Army and eventually became an independent combat nurse. Her dedication and compassion awarded her the nickname of “the angel of the battlefield.”  

Mary Eliza Mahoney 

Mary Eliza Mahoney dreamed of becoming a nurse but knew her race would impede her from pursuing it. Realizing this, she took any work that she could take at the New England Hospital for Women and Children. Mary worked as a cook, a janitor and nurse’s aide for 15 years. At 33, Mary was admitted to the nursing program and successfully completed the program. She became the first African American nurse to receive formal training, co-founded the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses and served as Director of the Howard Orphanage Asylum.  

  • Key learning: There is a lot we can learn from Mary. From courage to determination, she played a critical role in opening the opportunities for all to join the profession. The work she started, as we know, is not over. Nurses and healthcare professionals alike play a critical role in allyship and leaders in diversity. Not only in their work, but their support to any underserved community. Check out this blog post where we discuss becoming a culturally sensitive nurse.  

Virginia Avenel Henderson  

Virginia Avenel Henderson is the most recognized nurse of the 20th century, known as the First Lady of Nursing. Her dedication and passion for nursing earned her the most prestigious award in the field, the Christiane Reimann Prize. To earn that award, Virgina was trained as a nurse at the Army School of Nursing and attended the Teachers College in Columbia University. Her focus was to define the roles of nurses. Due to her work, the structure of nursing education programs was reformed and has become to be what it is today. Nursing students today benefit from her published work as they are still being used in textbooks and other educational materials.  

  • Key learning: Virginia was determined to make the nursing profession one that always placed the patient’s needs first. The work she started years ago continues to be the pillar which nurses lean on today to meet their patients’ needs. Virginia’s work continues to impact everyone, both new nurses, experienced nurses and the patients. Check out this blog post to find out if you should take on nursing as a profession.  

Ann A Bernatitus 

Ann A Bernatitus received her nursing education from the Wyoming Valley Homeopathic Hospital Training School and the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate Hospital. After her education in 1935, Ann joined the Nurse Navy Corps a short year later. During her time there, the attack on Pearl Harbor led to evacuations, leaving Ann to be the only Navy nurse on the team. Due to her heroism in treating wounded soldiers, Ann became the first American recipient to be awarded the Legion of Merit. Her award is displayed at the Smithsonian today. 

  • Key learning: The courage Ann showed is inspiring and surely an act of heroism. For three months she continued working extremely long hours on dangerous and deadly front lines. Nurses are frontline workers that put their own lives on the line for the safety and well-being of others. Becoming a nurse is not for recognition, it is a choice made from the heart. However, being honored for the work, sacrifice and dedication to the profession is necessary. Check out this blog post created by our SkillGigs team to show our appreciation.  

Claire Bertschinger 

Claire Bertschinger, born in Essex, inspired the creation of Band-Aid and Live Aid. She was honored by Queen Elizabeth as Dame Commander of the British Empire in 2010 for her service in both nursing and international humanitarian aid. Claire has dyslexia and couldn’t read or write for the first decade of her life, but she successfully completed formal nursing training and graduated with a master’s degree in 1997. She served as a medic in Operation Drake and later joined the International Committee of the Red Cross. Her passion and calling to be a nurse allowed her to beat all odds.  

  • Key learning: Claire is best known for her advocacy on behalf of suffering people in the developing world. Her work has been recognized and won many awards, one being the Women of the Year Window to the World Award. In addition, she was honored with the Human Rights and Nursing Awards from the International Centre for Nursing Ethics (ICNE) two years later. Nursing can take you to many places. Your nursing story can start at home and lead you to places you never imagined. Check out this blog post to find out more about traveling nurse opportunities and perks. 

SkillGigs finds immense joy in being part of the healthcare industry and serving nurses all over the U.S. What you do as a nurse keeps us motivated to provide you with the best opportunities. Our goal is that grow in your profession and remain part of our team for years to come.