Flowers 4 the Float

The Nurses' Float
Celebrate and Honor All Nurses
at the 2013 Tournament of Roses Parade®

Maureen LathamMaureen Latham, BSN, RNC-OB 

Float Rider from Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women and Newborns

Winning Essay

"Riding on a fabulous Rose Parade float has been a dream of mine since I was five years old. My family had just purchased its first television set. It was color TV! My father and grandfather spent the better part of a day hanging black cardboard on the living room windows. This was to make a theatre like darkness to view the Rose Parade. The color and pageantry were magical. Memories of the Rose Parade led me to join the drill team in high school. In my wildest dreams, I never thought my chance might come from my nursing career.

I followed in the path of my mother and grandmother when I realized that my interest in science and enjoyment of people could intersect with a nursing career. My Mom shared her enthusiasm for working at Sharp. She was on the cutting edge of critical care nursing, and Sharp was already known for its forward approach to bringing excellence in health care to the community. I was thrilled to be chosen to join the critical care team.

This started an exciting 30 year career.

Sharp Nursing holds me to the highest standards and has encouraged me to grow through my career, taking on new roles such as Patient Educator and Clinical Supervisor. Nursing excellence was modeled to me by my leaders and respected colleagues, inspiring me to serve on the local chapter of AWHONN association. Lifelong learning is expected and challenged me to be successful in the RNC-OB exam. Changes in practice are made based on research. My project to implement Birthing Balls in our Labor & Delivery department was based on evidence that use could decrease the length of labor and the pain a woman experienced. I was selected to present this project at the National AWHONN convention. At the heart of everything were the patients that I serve and the unforgettable experiences I could create.

It's a remarkable profession that honors you to be present in the most vulnerable moments of people's lives. This was reaffirmed to me after I had worked some years as a Labor & Delivery Nurse. It was Halloween evening and I was in the neighborhood trick or treating with my children. A woman I didn't recognize suddenly stopped me. She said I had been her Labor Nurse and she would never forget me. What a powerful moment when she introduced me to her child. This shows the culmination of all aspects of being a Sharp Nurse, adding my own blend of nursing art to the tools and resources.

My current responsibilities include coordinating the orientations of our newest colleagues. I have started over 200 new nurses on their chosen career path. It is a different way of impacting patient lives and serving my community. It's my passion to continue the Sharp tradition of developing strong nursing professionals to serve our future generations.

My Sharp Nursing career has given me endless opportunity for growth and fulfillment. Could the 2013 Rose Parade be the latest?"