Ellen M. Leone is the chief nursing officer of Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County General Hospital. Photo by 5iveLeaf Photography.

After two years of pandemic conditions in the community, Saturday, March 19 is a chance to recognize Certified Nurses Day. Celebrated by health care professionals around the world, the day pays tribute to those nurses who have furthered their ability to care for patients by earning advanced certification in one or more specialty areas.

Together Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County General Hospital have 170 certified nurses. According to Ellen M. Leone, chief nursing officer of Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County General Hospital, research shows that certified nurses make better decisions, based on their knowledge of what has been proven to work. Moreover, certified nurses have demonstrated an engagement with their profession that increases patient safety and satisfaction.

Certified Nurses Day is celebrated on the anniversary of the birth of Margretta Madden Styles. An American nurse, author, educator and nursing school dean, Styles helped establish national standards for certifying nurses in pediatrics, cardiology, and other medical specialties. Her work left an indelible mark on the nursing profession. She was instrumental in founding the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
According to Leone, for anyone who has been a patient at PBMC or WCGH, there is a good chance that a certified nurse was part of their care team. Leone added, “Please take a minute to reflect on all that they have done for you and for the health of our community, especially over these past two years, and join me in celebrating their achievements.”