Healthy You - Every Day

We're Here for You...Please Get Vaccinated for Us

Critical care nurse Nichole Persing, RN, has an important message for the community about COVID-19

Nichole Persing op-ed

For the most-recent information, please visit

Nursing is a tight-knit community. I know because I’ve been a critical care nurse for 17 years, including the last few years as a director at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN), where our team has cared for some of our sickest patients. We look out for our fellow nurses, and we have each other’s backs. Never has that been more apparent than during the COVID-19 pandemic as increased demands on our profession have hospitals and other health care facilities across the country, large and small, facing staffing challenges.

I have friends all over the country in nursing, and we all feel it. We support each other and exchange ideas so we can ensure we’re providing the best care for our patients. During the last year and a half, we’ve all had to adapt, learn and tackle new challenges. We’ve seen patients succumb to COVID-19 and other illnesses during the pandemic. Every loss is hard on us. 

It’s tough, and we’re tired. But I assure you the nurses at LVHN are resilient, the best I’ve worked alongside of in my career. We never lose focus on why we became nurses – to care for people during their greatest time of need – and we vow to be there for you, providing the special attention and care you expect and deserve.

We never lose focus on why we became nurses – to care for people during their greatest time of need – and we vow to be there for you, providing the special attention and care you expect and deserve.

One of the benefits of being a large health system like LVHN is we have the best resources and experts to care for patients in the best environment, especially in the unique times we are in.

And especially in a large system, each us of must continue to be inventive. A mentor once told me, “Don’t ever forget that crisis leadership is innovation on steroids.” 

But sometimes even the smallest changes have the biggest impact. On my unit, we team up two nurses for every COVID patient to provide extra support to the patient and each other. We go above and beyond, and I often remember the time we brought an elderly couple with COVID together in a private location so they could spend their final moments where they belonged – with each other. Being able to offer that comfort is another example of why we chose nursing. 

Being inventive also means looking beyond the here and now. At LVHN, we cultivate and mentor the next generation of nurses through our unique nurse residency program, the first-ever nurse residency in Pennsylvania to receive a prestigious “Accreditation with Distinction” from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). That means we have one of the best programs to prepare newly licensed registered nurses for a successful transition into their careers.

Our team is passionate about teaching our nurses, and I’ve watched this next generation who joined us during the pandemic bring an exceptional level of care and comfort to our patients under the most difficult of circumstances.

We are committed to doing our part – and there’s something you can do to help support the nurses and staff who support you. Get vaccinated. Even today, most people hospitalized with COVID-19 are not vaccinated and that puts stress on the entire health care system. And soon, flu season will begin. If everyone gets vaccinated for COVID-19 and the flu, fewer people will become sick and hospitalized. And that’s good for everyone – our caregivers, our families, our entire community and you.

Every nurse and everybody on your care team wants to go above and beyond for you. We’re here, we’re resilient, we’re focused, and we’re looking ahead to make your care even better. We’ve come really far, and we can get through this by working as partners to do our part together.

COVID-19 Vaccines for People Age 18-64 With Qualifying Medical Conditions

COVID-19 vaccines

Schedule your appointment online for your COVID-19 vaccination.

Find a vaccine clinic

Explore More Articles