May 12, 2020

Let’s Honor and Celebrate Nurses

Growing up in Calhoun, Georgia, United States, Amy Jordon had her path in life figured out. Her aunt who was a nurse often encouraged her to think about a career in nursing. But Jordon had other ideas.

“She would always say that she thought I would be a great nurse and that I should pursue nursing,” Jordon said. “But I was going to teach English because I loved to read and write, so that is what I was going to do.”

Things were going as planned for Jordon. She went off to college, and while she stood in line to register for her first semester of classes, her direction suddenly changed when her plan and perhaps her calling had a head-on collision.

“As I was standing there, I looked over and saw the nursing [program] side. I literally got out of the line I was in and got in the nursing line,” she said.

That day set the stage for what has been a more than 30-year career in health care, and Jordon has never looked back. She has dedicated her life to caring for others and currently serves as chief nursing officer for AdventHealth’s Southeast Region, which encompasses four health-care institutions. 

Though she is no longer at the bedside, Jordon remains very much connected to the day-to-day work in the clinical setting, spending much of her time rounding on patient floors and engaging with leaders at Southeast Region hospitals.

Across the country, there are countless stories like Jordon’s. Though the specific details and circumstances may differ, they share a common thread as people who answered the call to care for others.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, nurses make up the largest portion of health-care professionals, with approximately four million registered nurses across the country. This week is National Nurses Week in the United States, an annual recognition of nurses. In fact, this entire year is a celebration of nurses, with the World Health Organization designating 2020 the “Year of the Nurse,” which now seems providential.

As Americans adjust to life during the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses for AdventHealth and across the country are playing a critical role in the nation’s response to the virus. The dedication, resiliency, and sheer determination of nurses on the front lines in the face of unprecedented challenges and circumstances have been extraordinary. And in a time of so much uncertainty across the country, Jordon and her leadership team are going the extra mile to support caregivers.

“We are being very purposeful with communication and rounding on our units. Being available to our caregivers and being intentional about our engagement to know how they are doing, understand their worries, and answer their questions,” she said.

Amid the pandemic, National Nurses Week uniquely coincides with the National Day of Prayer. With the intersection of these two significant observances, Jordon had the opportunity to address team members across the health system, including AdventHealth’s 20,000 registered nurses. These are people who have also found their calling in caring for others, leading an encouraging and inspiring devotional based on the Serenity Prayer.

The well-known Serenity Prayer says, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

According to Jordon, the Serenity Prayer sums up much of what nursing is.

“I’m very honored to be able to bring a message like that to team members and also represent nursing, especially at a time like this,” she said.

They may not know it yet, but there are many more Amy Jordons out there. They have their lives all mapped out but will inevitably, and perhaps unwittingly, be drawn to nursing to eventually do their life’s work.

Back in Georgia, Jordon knows the impact that nurses can have on the people they care for. She also knows how much people in the community appreciate the care and compassion of nurses.

“I can’t convey enough how proud I am to be a nurse and how proud I am of the nurses in our system,” Jordon said. “When someone stops me in the grocery store and compliments the staff for caring for their mom, or when I get a phone call or email, it lets me know that we are doing what our mission of extending the healing ministry of Christ charges us to do. I couldn’t be more proud.”

The original version of this story was posted on the AdventHealth news site.