Photo of Health and Wellness Team at Rainbow Acres
The Rainbow Acres Health & Wellness Team: (back row, from left) Christine Walker, RN, Director of Health & Wellness; Lori Evartt, LPN; (front row, from left) Nikki Griffin, LPN; Gail Uhler, Medical Records and Appointment Coordinator; Nadine Little, LPN; and Kathy Nenninger, RN.

Celebrating ‘National Nurses Week’ this month

May is a special month for the nation’s nurses. May 6 marked National Nurses Day, the beginning of National Nurses Week, when we honor the important role that nurses play in health care. The week ran through May 12 – the birthday of the most famous nurse in history, Florence Nightingale.

Nursing is hard, but very rewarding. The nurses who come to our profession to “make money” never last long. The motivation has to be bigger than that – you have to love to serve. The patient has to entrust a nurse to provide the most intimate care. There is an art to doing this respectfully and well.

Providing Health Care for Adults with Disabilities

This month, we’re celebrating the professionals who provide health care for adults with developmental disabilities at Rainbow Acres. Our Health & Wellness Team is comprised of five nurses and two medical records personnel.

Nadine Little, LPN

Our newest team member is Nadine Little. She is an LPN that came to us after 20+ years of employment with Kaiser Health Systems in California. She wanted to semi-retire and be near her son and his family. Nadine works part time and helps on Saturdays. She has a great sense of humor and practical nursing skills.

Kathy Nennenger, RN

Kathy Nennenger came to Rainbow Acres in 2018 as well. Kathy comes to us with 35+ years of experience at Verde Valley Medical Center. As the hospital grew, she did various jobs as she raised her family. Kathy works when others are on vacation and shares Saturday nursing responsibilities with Nadine. Kathy really enjoys working with our Ranchers and her wide range of knowledge is very helpful.

Lori Evartt, LPN

Lori Evartt went to school in San Diego where she lived most of her life, then moved to Oklahoma because her youngest daughter moved there. It was in Oklahoma that Lori met her husband Ron. Lori worked with dialysis patients and also in an assisted living facility. Then family matters brought Lori and her husband to Arizona. Lori found Rainbow Acres in February of 2017. She works full time and has been an excellent addition. Lori brings a smile to work every day and enjoys having time off to visit her first grandson, Ozzie, back in Oklahoma.

Nikki Griffin, LPN

Nikki Griffin came to Rainbow by way of South Carolina. She grew up in Easley, where she found she had an interest in nursing. Nikki obtained her Practical Nurse License. She worked in geriatric facilities as well as doctor’s offices. After she married and had three children, her husband Kevin was called to start a ministry in the Verde Valley. When all of the kids were in school Nikki wanted to get back into nursing because she really enjoyed this vocation. She found Rainbow Acres in 2012 and came on board as a part time nurse. Now Nikki works full time and takes on a leadership role in my absence. Her greatest joy is returning to South Carolina to visit family, which includes her only grandson, Jaxson.

Gail Uhler

Even though Gail Uhler is not a nurse, she plays a very important role. Gail has been a Verde Valley resident all of her life and found Rainbow Acres in 2008 where she started as a receptionist. She helped out in Health & Wellness and found that she liked working with our Ranchers and medical providers. Gail has great communication skills and most often answers the phone if you call our office. During her time here, Gail has gotten married, had a daughter Scarlett and is now expecting her first son.

Jody Grizzle

Jody Grizzle fills in for Gail and is truly “Jill of all Trades” as she helps in the administrative offices as well. We’re so lucky she enjoys working when Gail needs some time off.

Christine Walker, RN

Since 2007, I have served as Director of Health & Wellness at Rainbow Acres. Until 2010, I worked with only a clerk in Health & Wellness. So, I feel very blessed to have these people as integral members of our team. We are able to staff our office 6 days/week, with a nurse on call 24/7 for any needs that may arise.

Facts about Nurses Week

I’ll close with a little trivia about Nurse’s Week this month of May:

Dorothy Sutherland, who proposed Nurse’s Day to President Eisenhower in 1953, worked for the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare at the time. However, Eisenhower did not sign the proclamation. It wasn’t until 1974 that President Nixon made an official proclamation to establish Nurses Day and Nurses Week.

The U.S. Congress passed a formal resolution in 1982 setting May 6th as our official Nurses Day.
The first Hallmark greeting card for nurses debuted in 1992! So we made it to be considered a Hallmark holiday!

There are approximately 2.7 million registered nurses today and 750,000+ licensed practical nurses. Even with this number, there is a shortage of nurses and this is especially true in rural areas.

Most of you know a nurse – in your family or among your friends. Recognize them with a “THANK YOU” this month (and every month). They’ll appreciate it!

By Christine Walker, RN, Director of Health & Wellness