1. Hermann, Maureen DNP

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Caring is essential to nursing practice, promoting growth and fostering an environment of positivity and acceptance. Jean Watson's Theory of Human Caring expresses the fact that caring behaviors are central to not only who a person is, but who they want to become.


During our first Zoom meeting for our Fundamentals of Nursing course, we discussed trends in nursing. We talked about how to identify a concern and how nurses are essential when finding ways to improve care that lead to positive outcomes. The students shared their concerns regarding the pandemic and the effect it's having not only on the nursing profession, but also the community. Students openly shared stories of how COVID-19 has affected them, and they decided that they have an opportunity to be part of the solution. Within this conversation, the inspirational COVID-19 Caring Project was built.


Students shared information related to family members, friends, neighbors, and other individuals who had been impacted by the pandemic. They wanted to send messages of hope and resilience to others, be an inspiration, and make a positive difference. Google links were created, and students typed messages of hope and optimism. They shared words of caring and kindness, writing positive and uplifting messages. The students were truly amazing as they engaged in random acts of kindness. Their notes were shared, and messages of gratitude were brought back to the group.


As the semester wrapped up, the students were reminded to always include the concept of caring in their journey as professional nurses. Something so simple as a kind word can make a world of difference in the lives of ourselves and others. It was an honor to work with such a wonderful group of future nursing professionals and be part of their experience. I'm so proud of each and every student-thank you for inspiring me. To quote Margaret Mead, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."


-Maureen Hermann, DNP


Bradley University, Peoria, Ill.