The following post is written by Jim Krauss, President, RMH Healthcare. Jim pays tribute to his wife Vicki, who is a nurse practitioner and is on the faculty at James Madison University. 

Jim Krauss, president, RMH Healthcare

I had been a typical young adult, dating various women in my teens and twenties. No one ever struck me as a life mate until I dated the first and only nurse, Vicki, who was clearly different.

She has been my wife for 21 years.

Vicki Krauss, RN

She was meant to be a nurse because she is smart, she has a uncanny intuition about things, she has excellent judgment, she knows right from wrong, she works hard, has endurance, is willing to get her hands dirty, jump in during time of need before being asked, and the list goes on…but most importantly, she has compassion for others.

Her compassion is given freely

I see the compassion inside our family (two teenage boys) (well three, with the dog). I see it in her church activities. I see it in her as a Boy Scout Leader. I see it in non-profit volunteer board roles she fills. I see it in the focused attention she gives to her students in the James Madison University (JMU) nursing program, and I see it in the care she provides to patients at the   Harrisonburg/Rockingham free clinic.

Vicki Krauss, RN, (left) consults with a colleague at the clinic.

Compassion is important because is it something a person shows to someone else without the need to be earned, it is given freely. For me compassion is a gift from God, like grace – undeserved love for another. I think that is what makes nurses special, they take a gift from God and they share with others.

Today, Vicki is a family nurse practitioner and on faculty at JMU. She is considering spending more time in private practice versus more teaching, or possibly getting a doctorate degree (remember, I noted hard-working!) But whatever she does, I love her for her compassion.

So my message to all nurses is to each and every day, share a little of what God has given you, share a little of your compassion.

I know you will because that’s what nurses do!