National Nurses Week 2020

National Nurses Week 2020

May 8, 2020

Showing Gratitude: a Profile in Courage that puts the Care in Healthcare

Meet Alicia Bligen, ICU Nurse at a New Jersey hospital providing acute care. Alicia is a sister of one of our valued employees at Next Level Performance. That is how we were able to get a one-on-one interview during this, the most severe healthcare crisis in 100 years.

Alicia Bligen, ICU Nurse

New Jersey borders the epicenter of mounting coronavirus infection that is New York City. Steep infection rates in many counties have led NJ Gov. Murphy to protect citizens’ health and lives, by extending yet again the Public Health Emergency Executive Order.

As COVID-19 death tolls for the state approach 10,000, the roles of nurses are thrown into stark relief. While so many of us stay at home and work from home, these essential service workers must wade into the fray. Their jobs require close daily contact with those suffering from the worst infection of the century.

I am grateful to Alicia Bligen for giving her time when the demands of her job are so high, and to Danielle Bligen and Jordyn Minus for making this interview possible.


JM: What made you decide to become a nurse?

AB: I knew from an early age that I wanted to work in the medical field. I knew I wanted to become a nurse when I shadowed a nurse during my EMT training. The direct patient care that she was delivering really inspired me, and from that day on I began pursuing nursing rather than medical school.

JM: What do you find most rewarding about your job?

AB: What I find most rewarding is providing care to people on their worst days or time in their life and helping them get over this hurdle. It is very rewarding to see someone that was in such dire circumstances one day, get to leave the hospital and spend many more years to come with their family and loved ones.

JM: How do you handle stressful situations?

AB: Well I work with a group of amazing people who are like family. We lean on each other to get through the rough days and weeks. Also spending time with family and friends who, I say this gratefully, allow me to vent about my crazy shifts. Finally, self-care, isolating myself to re-center.

JM: How are you coping with COVID-19?

AB: COVID-19  has been a very stressful time within the hospital.

Just being within the facility you feel exposed to this virus and you see what harm it can do to the human body.

For some there is an added layer of stress because of age, or immunity issues. The risk of getting COVID-19 is higher for me, however I do not let this stop me from providing the care these patients and their families need during this time.

JM: What has your hospital done to show gratitude?

AB: For Nurses week the hospital gave all the Nurses a box of chocolate as a thank you.

JM: Thank you, Alicia. Your answers will help us all to better understand Nurses’ devotion to duty and motivation.

The Next Level of Gratitude

In recognition of Alicia’s constant hard work and compassion, and the contributions of all Nurses during National Nurses Week May 6-13, Next Level has rolled out Project: Gratitude.

Project: Gratitude focuses on making the most effective forms of appreciation available to Hospitals and Acute Care front-line healthcare employees, staff and professionals.

For Nurses Week, and until June 30, 2020, we are waiving our $5 per-reward fee. It is our small way of saying “Thank You” for the dedication, caring and compassion of those we rely on so much. Thank you for all you do!

To explore Project: Gratitude, download the PDF or call Vic Sawi at 732-379-6303