Mayo Clinic Q&A

From complex or serious conditions like cancer and heart disease to the latest news on research and wellness, host Dr. Halena Gazelka asks the questions and gets easy-to-understand answers from Mayo Clinic experts

Episodes  National Nurses Week

Nurse at patient bedside, checking blood pressure

National Nurses Week
May 6, 2022

At Mayo Clinic, the Department of Nursing consists of over 22,000 people, including nurses, patient care assistants, patient care technicians and social workers. Like many health care professionals, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a stressful and challenging time for those in the department..

"Throughout the pandemic, our nurses have continued to be there for their patients," says Ryannon Frederick, Mayo Clinic's chief nursing officer. "Our patient satisfaction actually increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. And that's really due to the excellence from our nursing staff. When you just imagine all the stress and strain they were feeling, and they continued to excel."

Mayo Clinic's multidisciplinary approach relies on nurses to be an integral part of the care team. Frederick says nurses are the closest touch point to the patient, and they often identify opportunities to improve care. 

"We encourage nurses to speak up and advocate on behalf of the patients," explains Frederick. "Then we engage them to be part of the solution — to make sure that once we identify the problem, we also have a solution for it," says Frederick. "And our nurses do this each and every single day. "

Each year, May 6-12 is designated National Nurses Week. This week acknowledges and celebrate nurses and the care they provide for their patients. 

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Frederick shares her own professional journey at Mayo Clinic — from nursing student to chief nursing officer. She also discusses the role nurses will play in leading the future of health care, including the role of nursing research.