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The National Nursing Network Organization was honored to receive an invitation from U.S. Public Health Service leadership to attend the Change of Command Ceremony for the Chief Nurse Officer of the US Public Health Service on January 17th, 2014. During this ceremony, RADM Kerry Nesseler transferred command to RADM Sylvia Trent-Adams who becomes the tenth Chief Nurse Officer of the US Public Health Service.
In 1949, the position of Chief Nurse Officer (CNO) was created in the Office of the Surgeon General, with the rank of Assistant Surgeon General (the equivalent of Rear Admiral). The National Nurse Act of 2013 would designate the CNO of the U.S. Public Health Service as the National Nurse for Public Health. This will increase visibility of this important nurse and raise the profile of the entire U.S. Public Health Service.
Thank you to Ruth Blevins RN, Executive Director of the WV State Nurses Association and Katie Hall MSN, RNBC for attending and representing the NNNO.
Ms. Blevins sent the following report:
“Gathering with the attendees to watch the ceremony was starting out like any other event. People milling about, a dash to the rest room, finding a seat in a crowed auditorium. But there was a noticeable difference, many of the attendees were in full dress uniforms. Things started changing with the sound of the navy pipe and a call of 6 bells. The snap to attention of the officers lining the aisle, the slow advance of the Rear Admirals, transported myself and the crowd to another place and time. A place rich with tradition, the presentation of Colors, singing the National Anthem in what looked to be a very solemn occasion. The speakers made sure this was not the case. Many times tissues came forth to dry eyes full of tears of laughter, humorous insights were shared along with the accomplishments and praise of the various attendees. What accomplishments! The rigors of active duty in the armed forces, an attention to lifelong learning as a nurse, raising a family all while serving our great country. I was impressed and inspired.
Being a nurse and witnessing this occasion I could not help but savor a sense of over whelming pride. Pride in my profession I share with these nurses who have accomplished much more than the founder of nursing could have ever dreamed. To think that nurses hold sway with national health policies, impacting the healthcare of millions of our citizens is an amazing feat. Thank you Florence Nightingale for without your dedication and perseverance these gallant nurses would not exist and I would not be crying tears of joy witnessing such an event.”
Katie Hall states, “It was an amazing day! It was an honor to be present at the Change of Command Ceremony for the Chief Nursing Officer of the United States Public Health Service. I attended in representation of the National Nursing Network Organization, as a health policy advocate for H.R. 485 and S. 1475, The National Nurse Act of 2013. I had the opportunity to meet with several leaders of the nursing profession and interacting with such dynamic, impassioned, and dedicated individuals was nothing short of inspiring.
The dedication that RADM Kerry Nesseler (immediate past CNO of the USPHS) and RADM Sylvia Trent-Adams (current CNO of the USPHS) have to advancing, protecting, promoting, and advancing our nation’s health was palpable throughout the ceremony. Their commitment to preventing disease and to ensuring the provision of holistic, safe, quality healthcare is admirable and commendable. Once again I am reminded how proud I am to be a nurse and an American!”