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University Celebrating National Nurses Week

The University of Mississippi is honoring nurses at Employee and Student Health Services for their caregiving during National Nurses Week. Adobe Stock photo

Nurses at the University of Mississippi Employee and Student Health Services are being honored for their service during National Nurses Week.

“We are so proud of our nursing staff who always go above and beyond to provide the best care for our university population,” said Alex Langhart, director of University Health Services. “Our employee and student health nurses have been integral to our response and planning for COVID-19.”

Langhart and Dr. Jean Gispen, staff physician, agree that the public needs to take advantage of any opportunity to celebrate nurses or anyone that is involved in health care delivery.

“One way to thank a nurse is to write it down and send it to the nurse, the nurse’s boss or even the newspaper,” Gispen said.

“I would recommend any words of encouragement, a simple thank you or even just asking a nurse how they are doing,” Langhart said. “We are all human and need to support and uplift each other.”

Full-time UM nursing staff include:

  • Jessie Malone
  • Drenett Burchfield
  • Tracy Summers
  • Elizabeth Vaughn
  • Deidra Anderson
  • Kim Shaw
  • Margaret Tatum

PRN (contract) nurses at Ole Miss include:

  • Amanda Hill
  • Brayden Timmons
  • Lucille Jones
  • Lindsey Hendrickson
  • Jeanie Warren

UM Nurse practitioners include:

  • Corey Mauldin
  • Lauren Durham
  • Jeni Bond
  • Lisa Clark

It is appropriate to celebrate nurses every day of the year, Gispen said.

“A nurse is a medical professional, a ward clerk, a custodian and a psychologist, all in one,” she said. “Simply telling the nurse how grateful you are is what is important.”

The university’s nursing staff is on the front lines with the providers assisting in COVID-19 testing and providing in-person care when necessary, Langhart and Gispen said.

“The nurses take an initial history over the phone and then decide if a patient might fit the symptoms of COVID-19,” Gispen said. “They then discuss the patient with one of the physicians.

“If the decision is made that a patient needs to be tested for COVID-19, one of the nurses suits up in physical protective equipment to help the physician – also in PPE – who swabs the patient at one of the testing sites in the parking lots outside the health center.”

Nurses also triage patients by phone to refer them to the appropriate level of care or provide education and guidance within their scope of practice, Langhart said. Nurse practitioners are continuing to provide care via telehealth or in-person when necessary.

National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6 and ends May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. These permanent dates enhance planning and position National Nurses Week as an established recognition event.

Since 1998, May 8 has been designated as National Student Nurses Day.

As part of the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife” celebration, the American Nurses Association is expanding National Nurses Week, traditionally celebrated May 6-12 each year, to a monthlong celebration in May to expand opportunities to elevate and celebrate nursing.


By Edwin B. Smith, University of Mississippi Communications

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