Honoring heroes: Nurses’ Week set for May 6-12


Nurses around the nation will be recognized by their places of employment, friends and family as Nurses’ Week is set for May 6 through May 12.

Locally, IU Health Saxony nurses largely will do their celebrating while in the hospital. Current Publishing conducted a Q&A with two IU Health Saxony nurses – Tammi Knight, a nurse for short-stay cardiac patients, and April Knight, who is a nurse for pre- and post-anesthesia care. The two nurses are of no relations. Tammi Knight is an Indianapolis resident, and April Knight is a Greenfield resident.

What is your nursing background?

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Tammi Knight is a nurse for short-stay cardiac patients at IU Health Saxony. (Submitted photo)

Tammi Knight: I have been a nurse for 28 years this May. I first got my associate’s degree in nursing in 1992, and then I went back to school in 2013 and got bachelor of nursing and then in 2019, I recently graduated with a master’s in nursing leadership and management. The first two are from IU, and the master’s is from WGU.

April Knight: I’ve been a nurse for 13 years. I graduated from IU in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. I started my nursing career at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. I’ve always wanted to explore the option of travel nursing ever since I knew I wanted to become a nurse, and the experience I got from Methodist really helped prepare me for that. I did do travel nursing for a year and then I hired back with IU Health and helped open IU Saxony in 2011.

Why did you want to be a nurse?

Tammi Knight: I feel like I am naturally drawn to nursing just because I feel like I’m a nurturer. I really enjoy caring for and caring about people. For me, I was naturally drawn to this because I also wanted to be part of a profession that was respected and trusted, and I feel like it’s very rewarding. Since I got into nursing, I really enjoy the connection with people and learning more about their story and trying to build a good connection with them.

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April Knight is a nurse for pre- and post-anesthesia patients at IU Health Saxony. (Submitted photo)

April Knight: Back when I was in high school and trying to find my first job, my parents worked in healthcare and suggested maybe I would like to become a certified nurse aid. The thought of helping others sounded good, so I signed up for training and became a CNA at a hospital near me. Taking care of others was very natural. It’s very hard work physically and emotionally, but it also is very rewarding. From there on, I knew I wanted to go to nursing school and become a registered nurse.

What is the biggest challenge in nursing?

Tammi Knight: Over the years, the biggest challenge I think for me is healthcare has change, and we have been asked to evolve with that. Some changes are good but some are not so good, and I feel like with education, that’s helped me overcome any challenges I’ve been faced with. It’s definitely new procedures, new ways of doing nursing care, new leadership style. I think nursing is ever changing, and I think that’s the biggest challenge

April Knight: It is very challenging to keep up with all the changes in healthcare. I think it’s challenging to just go through some of your work days with everything that’s different that happens. Sometimes you can be taking care of patients in very difficult emotional situations, and then you’re expected to be able to go to the next room and put on a happy face and care for them and give them just as good of care even though you’re kind of struggling with what you had to do in the other room. It’s juggling your patient load, and it can be very exhausting, but I think nurses are very good at scheduling their emotions and being able to hang in there with all the different situations they’re put in.

What are you doing for Nurses’ Week?

Both Tammi Knight and April Knight are part of the group at IU Health Saxony that plans nurses’ week. Thy have special events planned during the week for the nurses at all the facilities, including cake and punch, drawings for prizes and more.

Personally, Tammi Knight’s family recognizes her each year.

“My sister usually sends me flowers every Nurses’ Day ever since I’ve gotten my license,” she said. “That’s always something special and personal my family helps me celebrate with.”

April Knight said her unit is often pampered by the hospital.

“There are nurses that will get cards and flowers from their family members which is nice,” she said.