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Meet Emergency Department Nurse Jason French, RN - It's National Nurses Week

May 08, 2016
Nurses Week

Jason French, RN, finds satisfaction in helping the sick and injured who come to the Emergency Department at Baystate Medical Center, where he has been providing care for the past 10 years.

It wasn’t until his mid-twenties that French, of Wilbraham, decided to transition into a career in nursing after feeling unsatisfied in his job as a warehouse manager. He eventually found himself on the doorsteps of a local ambulance company where for three years he “worked the streets” answering 911 calls for a local ambulance company.

During that time, French spent his days attending American International College, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Nursing. Soon afterwards, he left the road behind for the not unfamiliar territory of helping those in urgent need for care at the Baystate Medical Center Emergency Department.

May 6-12 is National Nurses Week, a time to recognize nurses around the country like French, including others at Baystate Health facilities throughout the area, for the important role they play in delivering the highest level of safe, quality care to their patients. Today’s nearly 3.4 million registered nurses in the United States constitute our nation’s largest health care profession. Nurses practice in diverse roles, such as clinicians, administrators, researchers, educators and policymakers.

“During National Nurses Week, we extend a special thank you to all of our nurses as they continue to deliver a higher state of caring to their patients. These talented registered nurses deserve special recognition for their efforts in delivering compassionate care, while encompassing the principles of safe and quality practice so ingrained in the nursing profession,” said Nancy Shendell-Falik, RN, MA, president of Baystate Medical Center and senior vice president for Hospital Operations.

Would French recommend nursing to someone considering entering the profession?

“Yes,” he said.

“Nursing can be emotionally and physically draining. However, at the end of the day you can look back at what you’ve done and know that you have made a difference for someone by helping them in their time of need. So, it is an extremely rewarding career and one that is well-worth the effort it takes in college to earn your degree in nursing,” added French.

But, it’s not every nurse out of college who can transition immediately to an Emergency Department environment.

“It’s very fast-paced and requires specific knowledge in preparation for the variety of cases we see, some involving extensive, life-threatening injuries or illness,” said French.

The Baystate nurse said he also finds it rewarding to help new nurses in the Emergency Department, who are participating in the hospital’s Nurse Residency Program.

Baystate’s BSN Nurse Residency Program is a one-year curriculum for newly graduated registered nurses, offering hands-on clinical experience, in-depth learning through monthly seminars, participation in evidence-based projects, and ongoing professional development. New graduate nurses participating in the program gain invaluable experience with the mentoring guidance of Baystate staff nurses like French. Baystate supports new nurse graduates to help ensure the hospital has the nurses needed to provide exceptional patient care.

Sponsored by the American Nurses Association, National Nurses Week has as its 2016 theme, “Culture of Safety – It starts with You,” recognizing registered nurses as an indispensable component of the safety and quality of care of hospitalized patients.

Baystate Medical Center’s high quality nursing care earned its third designation in a row as a Magnet Hospital for Nursing Excellence – one of only nine hospitals in Massachusetts – adistinction that places the hospital’s nursing staff among the finest in the nation. Nationally, only about 7% of all health care organizations carry this prestigious Magnet designation.

For more information on Baystate Medical Center, visit