National Nurses Week - Fortis on the Frontlines Series

Critical Thinking and Split-Second Decisions Save Lives

NursingMay 09, 2020

National Nurses Week - Fortis on theFrontlines Series

In 1991, the American Nurses Association established National Nurses Week as a time to recognize the selfless caregivers who serve their communities. Each year celebrations culminate on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, who is widely recognized as the “mother of modern nursing.” On the 200th anniversary of her birth, the World Health Organization announced 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife. In the spirit of Nurses Week and the Year of the Nurse, this week’s posts will highlight nursing graduates and students who are serving on the frontlines of COVID-19 across the country.

 Critical thinking and split-second decisions save lives.

Shana Smith, ASN, is a registered dialysis nurse working in a skilled nursing facility. As a graduate from Fortis College in Indianapolis, she is now a nurse working on a COVID-19 unit. Below, she shares how her training has prepared her for this pandemic:

“My COVID-19 patients are EXTREMELY ill. The virus is causing acute kidney injuries in typically healthy individuals. Because of this, our clinics are being used to dialyze patients who would typically have treatments in the hospitals. The increase in patient load has almost doubled.

Luckily, the critical thinking skills that I developed as a nursing student at Fortis have helped me tremendously. I have never worked in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) but have now found myself in situations where the need to think on my feet has increased. I believe that the skills I acquired during my education have helped me keep my head above water during these intensely trying times.

It’s amazing how, in this time of need, our team and our community have stepped up in major way. From small churches catering lunch for us to our company paying for childcare, we've been able to focus on our patients and help save lives. 

I just want to tell other nurses: ‘Don’t give up!’ No matter what area or specialty we work in, we are all fighting in this TOGETHER! We all feel the strains that this virus is causing, but we've got this!!!”

We are proud of Shana and other nursing graduates who continue the fight against COVID-19. To learn more about the nursing programs at Fortis Colleges & Institutes, St. Paul’s School of Nursing and Denver College of Nursing, please click here