Our Nurse of the Week is Carma Erickson-Hurt who was recently honored by the United Nations (UN) for the global impact she has made as a nurse. The UN honored 15 nurses from around the world at an awards ceremony on International Nurses Day in May at their New York headquarters. Erickson-Hurt was personally nominated by Project HOPE, an organization she has volunteered with over the past 10 years.
Erickson-Hurt has wanted to be a nurse since she was admitted to the hospital as a child where a nurse made a lasting impression on her, inspiring her to become one too. She was first introduced to Project HOPE while working as a nurse in the Navy, on the hospital ship USRS Mercy stationed in San Diego. The Project HOPE organization was invited to serve alongside Erickson-Hurt’s team when the Navy hospital ship responded to a tsunami in Indonesia. Referring to that experience, Erickson-Hurt tells TheWorldLink.com,
“It was a first because the military does its own thing and civilians do their own thing, but it worked out really well because we’re all just nurses and doctors.”
Project HOPE stands for Health Opportunities for People Everywhere. The organization used to have their own hospital ship that they used to travel the world providing medical care, but the venture became too costly and the organization was forced to stick to land-based missions with a focus on education.
Her work with Project HOPE led Erickson-Hurt to move to China for a semester last year to teach at a nursing school. She believes strongly in the power of education, especially in the area of global health improvement. Erickson-Hurt also emphasizes that nursing is one of the best careers someone can choose. Its versatility has always appealed to her, allowing her to find the type of nursing that best fits her personality and grow her to career to a global level. Now retired, Erickson-Hurt still chooses to teach as an online faculty member for Grand Canyon University.
Pushing for more nurse recognition, Erickson-Hurt says, “So many nurses, especially those at bedsides every day, are unsung heroes. They put up with a lot, they work hard and deal with not only the patient but their families and the emotional issues that come with all of that, and yet they still care for people. You don’t have to do international work to receive recognition for the great work nurses do.”
To learn more about Erickson-Hurt’s nursing career and recognition from the UN, visit here.