May 6 to 12 is National Nurses Week and a time to honor the dedicated men and women who we, in the VA, consider the compassionate backbone of the veterans' health care system - nurses.
Our 164 nurses at the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center and our community outpatient clinics across the Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin truly embody the theme of this year's National Nurses Week - Nurses Leading the Way.
Our talented VA Nurses are on the forefront of the VA's cultural transformation to patient-centered, patient-driven health care. They also lead the way in health care education and training, clinical responsibility, and research, but their passion comes from VA's mission - caring for veterans.
VA nurses are integral and equal members of our health care team of professionals. No health care professional is closer to the Veterans we care for than a VA nurse. They make a positive difference each day in the lives of Veterans and their families, meeting their needs with compassion and skill.
I am deeply proud to be associated with the nurses who care for our nation's veterans.
James W. Rice