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McNeese Recognizes National Nurses Week May 6-12

***National Nurses Week is May 6-12. This week celebrates the nursing profession and the vital roles nurses play in health care in their communities. The week always begins on May 6 and ends on May 12, which is Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Nurse Nightingale is credited with establishing nursing as a modern profession.

Two McNeese State University nursing graduates received the prestigious Outstanding Community Achievement by a Registered Nurse Award at the 17thth Annual Nightingale Awards and Gala for their volunteer work at Burton Coliseum with evacuees from Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana displaced during the record flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in August 2017.

Lindsey Bufford, a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, and Lauren Courville, a family nurse practitioner in the Emergency Department at Memorial Hospital, were nominated for this award by their McNeese professors and co-coordinators of graduate nursing, Dr. Ann Warner and Dr. Tari Dilks.

According to Dilks, the Nightingale Awards are presented by the Louisiana Nurses Foundation and the Louisiana State Nurses Association to recognize the achievements of nurses across the state in a variety of categories.

The Outstanding Community Achievement award is presented for exemplary leadership with significant accomplishments in the community. “One aspect of our graduate program is focused on the community responsibility that nurses have,” said Dilks. “Lindsey and Lauren saw a need and displayed excellent leadership to provide for those displaced from their homes.”

Dr. Ann Warner stands with Lauren Courville, Lindsey Bufford and Dr. Tari Dilks

On hand for the presentation are from left: Warner, Courville, Bufford, and Dilks.

Bufford and Courville spearheaded a three-step medical triage center and directed medical response services in conjunction with multiple agencies working with evacuees arriving at Burton Coliseum, according to Warner.

“Bufford took charge of communicating with the multiple agencies to create a centralized network of operation while Courville handled the influx of supplies and volunteers,” said Warner. Stations were set up around the coliseum to provide care for minor medical needs, medication refills and physical screenings.

“These nurses demonstrated leadership because they saw a need they could address, acted independently to meet that need and provided a very impressive service for communities devastated by this hurricane,” Dilks said. “We are incredibly proud of these two McNeese graduates, and as fellow nurses, we feel confident Lindsey and Lauren will continue to be leaders in this field.”