Glens Falls Hospital Nursing Honor Guard Tribute Ceremony

Pictured left to right: Heidi Olsen, RN; Audrey Turner, RN; Marie Robichaud, RN; Belinda Spinner, RN

Written by: Audrey Turner, RN, CPAN

Nursing Professional Development Council Chair

Nursing is not just a job, it is a calling to help others across a spectrum of time in people’s lives. This profession becomes a part of our character and builds who we are as a person.

After nurses retire it is often forgotten or overlooked how important that time spent helping others was to that person. In death, the meaning of being a nurse is most often missed when celebrating that person’s life.

The Glens Falls Hospital Nursing Honor Guard was developed by a group of Registered Nurses who thought it would be wonderful to pay tribute to the nursing careers of those nurses who pass away in our community.

Nursing Honor Guard ceremonies are performed all over the country by nurses who want to give back and pay tribute to fellow nurses who have passed away.

What is a Nursing Honor Guard Ceremony?
A Nursing Honor Guard Ceremony is a short tribute that pays respect to the deceased nurse’s time and commitment to the Nursing profession.

What does a Nursing Honor Guard Ceremony Entail?
The ceremony itself is generally about 5-10 minutes. Elements include a short synopsis of the nurse’s career, lighting of a candle and memorial lamp that is given to family at the end of the ceremony, a reading of the Florence Nightingale Nursing Tribute, A final Call to Duty for the nurse, and a white rose is placed with the nurse. The volunteers can also stand and have a presence at calling hours and/or throughout the funeral service if family/loved ones would like that. The details of each ceremony are decided on by the family/loved ones of the deceased nurse.

Who Performs the Nursing Honor Guard Ceremony?
The Glens Falls Honor Guard Ceremony is performed by volunteers that are Registered Nurses at Glens Falls Hospital. These nurses will all wear traditional white nursing uniforms for the ceremony.

Who Qualifies for the Nursing Honor Guard Ceremony?
Any nurse from our community qualifies to have this tribute ceremony. This includes any Licensed Practical Nurse, Registered Nurse, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, or Nurse Practitioner. Really, it applies to anyone who dedicated their career to the field of nursing and helping others. It is designed for any nurse that has worked in any field of nursing. One does not need to have been employed at Glens Falls Hospital to qualify for the tribute.

How Can You Arrange this for your Loved One?
Any family member or loved one can contact the Logistic Center at Glens Falls Hospital and let them know that you are interested in having a Nursing Honor Guard Ceremony for your loved one. This call can also be made by the funeral home director also if family inquires about it. The Logistic Center will then contact one of the Nursing Honor Guard Coordinators who will reach out to family/loved one or the funeral home to arrange the details. The Logistic Center can be reached at 518-926-3400. Their hours of operation are 6am-9pm.