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If you watched the annual Tournament of Roses Parade closely you might have glimpsed some of our Community Regional Medical Center’s nurses beaming with pride and cheering when the float we helped build glided down Colorado Boulevard.
We took a busload of nurses from Fresno to Pasadena to help place flowers on the nurses float named “A Healing Place.”
The themes on the float – confident, caring, competent leader, gentle, wise, compassionate, confidence, conscientious – are about all the qualities nurses have. Each animal on the float represented these qualities and more – a caring mother deer and fawn, wise owls, gentle rabbits, clever raccoons, and of course, nightingales for our profession’s founder Florence Nightingale. [There's more info on the float at the nurses float web site.]
We started planning for this year’s Rose Parade in 2007 when members of the Association of Perioperative Nurses (AORN) heard that Sally Bixby, a nurse and director of Surgical Services at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, would be the 2013 President of the Tournament of Roses and Rose Bowl Game. She’s the first nurse to hold the office. She has been a volunteer for 19 years in the Tournament of Roses festivities. In 2007 the non-profit organization Bare Root Inc. was formed and through the generous support of individual nurses, nurse organizations/associations, hospitals/health systems, healthcare industries, and supporters/friends of nurses, we were able to create the float that celebrated, honored and thanked nurses around the world, for all they do for their patients.
This was my first time decorating a float, but not my first time at the Rose Parade. More than 30 years ago I camped on the street the night before to get a good view. This time I bought my seat tickets the first day they went on sale to make sure I was there to cheer on Sally Bixby and honor fellow nurses.
I am so thrilled to be part of this celebration of all my nurse colleagues. I think we were all excited and proud to be nurses helping to build the float that would celebrate and acknowledge all that nurses do each and every day for patients.
I’ll never forget the first time I saw the float finally completed, knowing that so many nurses took time from their busy schedules and family to be part of this once in a lifetime experience. Together anything can be accomplished!
If you came along for this thrill please share your experience. And if you saw the float in the parade, let us know what you thought.