Undoubtedly, the media and the public praise the nursing profession and its vital role in healthcare.  For instance, heart-warming commercials produced by Johnson & Johnson illustrated the genuine spirit of compassionate nursing care. Notably, their ad featuring a male nurse is extraordinary. As a nurse and viewer, his warmth towards the young child genuinely moved me. In my opinion, that commercial transfixed most people’s minds and hearts. For those readers that have not seen the video, I have provided it for your viewing pleasure. Click on the video below.


Without question, that commercial solidified the nurse (RN/LPN) as America’s sweetheart. However, the nursing community does not consist of just nurses (RNs/LPNs). Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are an integral part of the nursing community, but they are rarely acknowledged. CNAs are equally compassionate to patients like their nursing colleagues. Although these leaders do not administer medications, they are irreplaceable members of the nursing team. Without CNAs, patient care would be virtually impossible. These individuals are waiting in the wings and are always there to provide a helping hand. As a nurse, I worked side by side with remarkable CNAs like Pamela Davis, Tela Curry, and Ms. Janice.

These women demonstrated unwavering compassion that equaled or surpassed other nurses that worked on the floor. As a young nurse, they provided me a helping hand during “Harry” situations. For instance, Pamela, Tela, and I worked the weekend night shift, and it seemed as if every night was a full moon. Frequently, our unit would be slammed with new admits. So, Pamela and Tela would prep the rooms once the floor was alerted to a patient’s upcoming arrival. To some readers, that task may seem small, but their initiative afforded me time to complete other tasks. Stopping mid-procedure to set-up a room is time-consuming. Subsequently, on the days that I worked with Ms. Janice, she printed our patient’s lab requisitions and stocked the lab cart, which kept us ahead of the game. Then, we divided labs to lessen each other’s load of required responsibilities. Without these remarkable women, I would have surely struggled. When the nurse and CNA work as a team, they can effortlessly tackle overwhelming assignments.

See also
De-stressing in a Stressful Profession

As nurses, we must recognize the service of our vital but unrecognized teammate. We must highlight in the media and the community that their service is essential. So nurses and nursing students, on your next shift thank the CNAs for all of their hard work. These unsung heroes are not acknowledged enough. CNAs are the third beam that keeps the nursing community standing strong.


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Ashley Wagner
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