Hospital Celebrates National Nursing Week: May 6-12

Published April 27, 2019

National Nursing Week draws attention to nurses, increasing the awareness of the public, policy-makers and governments of the many contributions of nursing to the well-being of Canadians.

In 1971, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) designated May 12, the birthday of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale, as International Nurses Day. In 1985, the Canadian government chose to celebrate the profession by having the week containing May 12 proclaimed as National Nursing Week annually.

In 2019, National Nursing Week will be celebrated at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (our Hospital) with events that recognize the vital contribution nurses make to the delivery of quality patient care, not only in Thunder Bay but across Northwestern Ontario. Our Hospital will also be featuring some of the many dedicated nurses that help us deliver exceptional care and who always put patients first.

The theme, developed by the ICN, is Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Health for All. According to the ICN, A Voice to Lead reflects the fact that “every nurse has a story and every story has the potential to improve the health system and enable individuals and communities to achieve their highest attainable standard of health. From these insights comes the power for change.” Health for All means “not just the availability of health services, but a complete state of physical and mental health that enables a person to lead a socially and economically productive life.”


Alyssa Cuglietta, RN: 3B and 3C Surgical Units

Alyssa Cuglietta works on 3B and 3C, two of our Hospital’s very busy nursing units where she provides care to patients undergoing a wide range of general and complex surgical procedures. The surgical unit staff are experienced in caring for patients with post-operative complications including pain management and wound care, as well as chronic health conditions such as diabetes and peripheral vascular disease that can complicate recovery from surgery. “I enjoy the variety of the patients that I care for and the chance to use a wide range of nursing skills”, said Cuglietta.


Brittany Parsons, RN: 2A Medical Unit

The 2A Medical Unit provides care to adult patients with a variety of general medical needs. Nurses provide care to patients, age 17 and older, with a wide variety of illnesses and co-morbid medical conditions. Many patients live with chronic conditions such as diabetes, obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney failure, which can be the cause of a medical crisis, resulting in hospitalization. Despite the challenges of working on 2A, Brittany Parsons likes what she does. “I enjoy taking care of my patients and working with the 2A staff”, said Parsons.


Grace Fox, Nurse Practitioner: Cardiology Program

Nurse Practitioner (NPs) are advanced practice Registered Nurses educated at the Master’s level. As an NP specializing in Cardiology, Grace Fox is the link between her patient and the Cardiologist on a day-to-day basis. She plays an important role in dealing with her patient’s on-going medical issues, educating patients and their families about the nature of their illness and connecting them to the services they will need at home following their discharge from the Hospital. Grace is a highly respected professional who leads by example. She helps to train NP program students and she holds important leadership positions with the College of Nurses of Ontario (the regulatory body for nurses of Ontario).  National Nursing Week is an opportunity for us to recognize the exemplary professionalism and commitment to outstanding patient care demonstrated by Grace Fox and her nursing colleagues.


Janey Pellegrino, RN: 2C Cardiology and Stroke Inpatient Unit

Janey Pellegrino has been a Registered Nurse (RN) since 2004. She works on the 2C Cardiology and Stroke Unit, and also has experience working in the recovery area of the Cardiac Cathlab.

2C nurses work on a fast-paced, dynamic in-patient unit caring for cardiovascular and stroke patients. They use a multitude of clinical pathways for different medical diagnosis such as congestive heart failure, acute coronary syndrome, and stroke pathways which help guide them and their patients through each hospital stay. Nurses on 2C have undergone extra training to care for the Regional Stroke Unit patients which account for 12 out of the 41 inpatient beds. Janey has extra training with interpreting telemetry and caring for post angioplasty patients in the outpatient angioplasty recovery unit. Janey prioritizes and uses her critical thinking skills every shift she works. What she loves most about her job are the people she encounters on every shift, the patients, their families and her 2C team.


Troy Balec, RN, and Deb McCormack, RN, Surgical Day Care

Troy Balec thrives in the fast paced, high patient turnover environment of the Surgical Day Care (SDC) department at our Hospital.

SDC nurses care for patients before and after same-day surgery, as well as patients undergoing certain outpatient diagnostic procedures. Patients recovering from endoscopies and colonoscopies spend time here as well. One of Troy’s most important responsibilities is post-operative education for patients and their families. Explaining how to care for one’s self after surgery and knowing how to best avoid post-operative infection and how to manage post-operative pain are all important lessons that Troy passes on to his patients before they are discharged from the Hospital.

“To work in SDC, a nurse needs a strong background in surgical nursing and a real desire to help people through a very stressful process,” said Balec. “Sometimes a sense of humour can be very important too.”

Deb McCormack first began developing her surgical nursing expertise on the 3 South and 5 South Surgical units at McKellar General Hospital. She went on to work on two surgical units at our Hospital, 3A and 3B. Currently, Deb is the Charge Nurse for the Surgical Day Care unit, one of the busiest nursing units of its kind in Ontario. As Charge Nurse, Deb is the unit problem solver, coordinator and nursing expert, who along with a dedicated team of nurses, makes sure that patients receive excellent care before and after surgery, until they are discharged home. When asked what she likes most about her job, McCormack said, “I enjoy the fast pace and the variety of surgical cases.”


< back to articles