An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

News & Gallery


Hospital Happenings

News | Feb. 2, 2024

Fort Johnson Nurses Celebrate 123 Years of Service

By Jean Graves, Medical Readiness Command, West

Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital hosted a ceremonial cake cutting to commemorate the 123rd anniversary of the United States Army Nurse Corps, Feb. 2, at the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Johnson, Louisiana.

Lt. Col. Nicole Rau, deputy commander of nursing for BJACH, coordinated the event to highlight the important role nurses play in healthcare and to celebrate this year’s theme of serving with distinction and healing with compassion.

Before the cake was cut, she presented a video message from Col. James Burk, chief of Army Nurse Corps. In his message, Burk thanked nurses serving on active duty, in the reserves, and the National Guard.

“This year’s theme highlights the dual roles we all serve as both nurses and Soldiers,” he said. “As nurses, we answer the call to care for people. We hold the hand of our patient during their first steps post-surgery, we provide phlebotomy services in the early morning hours, and we respond to patients in an emergency. As Soldiers, we answered the call to serve this country and are prepared to deploy on a moment’s notice to care for warriors serving in combat.”

2nd Lt. Steven McCray, mixed medical surgical nurse, is the newest member of the BJACH nursing team.

“Serving in the United States Army was always a goal of mine, so it was an easy decision to pursue a career in the Army Nurse Corps,” he said. “Nurses bring a blend of expertise, empathy, and care to the table. Nurses are responsible for administering treatments, offering emotional support, and acting as advocates for our patients.”

Maj. Cody McDonald, clinical nurse officer in charge of the BJACH emergency department said the Army Nurse Corps is much more than nursing. McDonald said he chose to be an Army Nurse because of a calling to help others and serve his country.

“This year’s theme demonstrates that we are held to a higher standard. We are expected to know and do more than our civilian counterparts,” he said. “We are Soldiers first, but we provide compassionate care and empathy in all we do, whether we are leading soldiers or caring for patients. We are a very diverse population in the Army with many hidden talents.”

Maj. Carmen Salcedo, commander, C Company, 710th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, initially enlisted as a combat medic, but wanted to do more.

“I wanted the ability to care for injured and ill soldiers and civilians in the hospital setting,” she said. “I was fortunate enough to meet the requirements for the Army Medical Department Enlisted Commissioning program which allowed me to complete my Bachelor of Science in Nursing and commission into the Army Nurse Corps.”

Salcedo said it’s important to celebrate the anniversary of the Army Nurse Corps annually.

“Nursing as a profession has come a long way in society and most certainly in the Army,” she said. “I think it is important to use this anniversary to reflect how far we’ve come as Army Nurses and celebrate the roles and responsibilities we hold within the Army.”

Salcedo said she is proud to be an Army Nurse Corps Officer.

“All my experiences have enabled me to become even more passionate when it comes to taking care of people,” she said.

McDonald echoed her sentiment.

“The Army Nurse Corps has grown into so much more than nursing and we provide diversity and experience in every position we hold,” he said. “Nurses command organizations, lead soldiers on the battlefield, and sacrifice their lives to save others,” he said. “It is important to remember those who have paved the way for us.”

Rau said this year’s theme reinforces her commitment to high standards with a focus on helping and healing patients.

“As nurses we bring a blend of expertise, empathy, and care to the table,” she said. “Nurses administer treatments, offer emotional support and act as advocates for our patients. By recognizing and celebrating the Army Nurse Corps anniversary, we honor the nurses who serve a vital medical role providing care to Soldiers, veterans, and their Families.”
Need to Update Your Information in DEERS? Click Here