Patients have long lauded nurses’ essential role on their care team—and in an August 2022 podcast episode, healthcare agency leaders did too. Shannon Zenk, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) director, described nurses as important members of care teams during a short conversation with Griffin Rodgers, MD, MACP, National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK) director.

“Nurses are the backbone of our healthcare system and may even lead your care team,” Zenk said. “They work closely with patients, their families, and other health professionals like doctors and pharmacists to overcome challenges and provide direct patient support.

“Nurses can help you learn more about your illness and understand how to take steps to improve your health and quality of life,” Zenk continued. “As you keep going on the path to wellness, remember nurses are on your team to help you reach your goals and live your healthiest life.”

Griffin agreed with Zenk’s praise and said. “When it comes to chronic illnesses, nurses are all stars in your healthcare team.”

As one of the most trusted professions, nurses are praised across numerous fields. Oncology nurses are an integral part of a patient’s care team, and advocating for health policies that protect and empower nurses is another way to show support.