SAN ANGELO, Texas – The job of being a nurse is multi-faceted, including committing to service to others.
Concho Valley’s Nurse Honor Guard aims to celebrate those who have taken that pledge.

In it’s first year, Concho Valley’s Nurse Honor Guard has performed 13 tributes since May. This comes after a fellow colleague called and asked for a tribute while in hospice care. They have continued their acts of service ever since.

This service is similar to a military tribute and officially releases the nurse from their nursing duties, as they believe, once a nurse always a nurse. The Nurse’s Honor Guard dresses in the traditional white uniform complete with cap and cape. The ceremony is brief but consists of reciting the Nightingale Tribute and the laying of a white rose on the casket or next to the urn, symbolizing the nurse’s dedication to the profession.

“We can either go to the gravesite or we can go to the funeral home or wherever their having a memorial and we do a nightingale tribute and sign the nurse off of her duties,” Cathryn Highsmith, a retired RN said.

Nurse Rosemary Zapata says being a nurse is more than a job, but a way of life and is more than deserving of a tribute.

“This here is a nice way to honor the nurses who have passed away, to show them our appreciation as a colleague for the work they have done and the love they have shown,” said Zapata.

There are more than 120 Nurse Honor Guard groups in the U.S. and the Concho Valley chapter is #2 in Texas.