Looking for inspiration? Be like Bev, says St. Francis RNs | Ascension

Looking for inspiration? Be like Bev, says St. Francis RNs

As part of last year's Nurses Week celebrations, the Ascension Nursing Center of Excellence presented each nurse with a work-approved "Nurses Inspire Nurses" T-shirt.

One day, Megan Morgan, RN, who works in the Ascension Via Christi St. Francis ER, was talking with her teammate, Laura Cress, RN, when it occurred to them: We're wearing T-shirts that speak to nurses inspiring other nurses. We need one dedicated to the nurse who inspires us.

That nurse is Beverly Haynes, who began working in the St. Francis ER on an as-needed basis after retiring two years ago after having worked six years as a nurse in Nebraska and then 38 years at Ascension Via Christi St. Joseph. Ten of those years were in the SICU and 28 in the ER.

"She's the 'OG' (original gangster)," says Morgan, who has served in the ER since becoming a nurse seven years ago. "She's been here for more than 40 years and can still run circles around all of us."

Haynes' peers describe her as a no-nonsense nurse whose focus is making sure that her patients get really great care and lending a hand to her nursing teammates when they have a question or need help. "We're always glad to see her," says Cress, noting that when the unit is busy she's always volunteering to take another patient.

"She never complains, not ever," adds Morgan, which is why when someone does, their nursing peers are apt to good-naturedly suggest, "You need to be more like Bev."

In fact, it's an expression heard so often that it was the inspiration for the "Be like Bev" T-shirts that, with the help of Cress' niece, they designed and team members purchased with their own money, along with one for Haynes that says, "I am Bev."

Dozens of shirts, which include a line drawing of Haynes' face, were ordered earlier this summer and the team has been wearing them under their scrubs and outside of work.

Upon hearing of the associate-led initiative, Nursing leadership approved a "Be Like Bev Day" celebration where everyone was allowed to wear the custom T-shirt with their scrub bottoms in Haynes honor on Friday, Oct. 1.

While Haynes says all the attention is a little "embarrassing," she loves serving two days a week as a mentor to her younger teammates.

"There's a long line of nurses who came before me who helped me along the way," says Haynes. "It's kind of like a payback to them."

She empathizes with her teammates' frustrations and day-to-day challenges because she felt the same way when she was working full time. Working two days a week allows her to continue to be productive and experience the joy that brought her to nursing 46 years ago.

It's that kind of attitude that Megan, Laura and others serving in the ER find inspiring.

Says Pam Albright, the St. Francis ER's nurse manager: "There are so many 'Bevs' who quietly go about getting the work done and whose sole focus is providing the best possible care to every patient. I'm excited our team decided to recognize ours."