The theme of National Nurses Week 2015, running from May 6-12, 2015, is "Ethical Practice. Quality Care," and Springer Publishing Company is proud to honor the nurses whose incredible dedication to the highest standards of care serves as an inspiration to us all. To do so, we collected stories from our readers of how exceptional nursing has made a difference in their lives.

"My wife is a nurse, and she is terrific. Though she is humble, I know she has saved lives in the hospital. But perhaps my favorite memory is not from the hospital, but from home: when she gently picked splinters out of our sleeping son's foot. How was she so gentle that a teenager did not awake? She is an angel."

-Amon Seagull

"I have a very different story on how/why I became a nurse. I grew up around hospitals as my Dad was the Chief Engineer at a local community hospital on Long Island. Every summer I would volunteer to work in various parts of the hospital to keep me out of trouble. When I graduated HS I took a job as a dishwasher at the hospital. Through time I met the Chief Nurse who was a friend of my father and she encouraged me to go back to college. I finally did and I have been a practicing RN since 1988. Today, almost 34 years after her initial encouragement, I hold a Doctorate in Nursing Practice and am a Chief Nurse also. I hope I can inspire people as she did."

-Carlo Piraino

"Five years ago I was treated for Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Over the course of my four months of chemotherapy treatments, I became aware of how nurses are on the front lines of many medical procedures and their interactions with patients can make a world of difference, especially when the diagnosis is one of life or death and the treatments come with multiple side effects. Doctors are invaluable for their medical knowledge, but it is the nurses who are standing right beside the patient, oftentimes holding their hands, during the procedures and treatments. Their calm demeanor and comforting words are medicine to the patients, who are often in pain both physically and mentally. This was especially true for me when I was hospitalized for 10 days at the end of my treatment, away from my family. I spent the nights in my hospital bed alone, and had only the comforting words of my night nurses to keep me calm and positive. I am forever grateful for their dedication to my health and mental state."

-Anonymous

"Our patient had been here for many months and his wounds were waxing and waning. One nurse. discussed with me how we could improve his healing. We began only changing his dressing with certain staff. She I along with one or two others would change dressing, She would came in on her days off, which included a few holidays when one of us was not available. Because of her care and concern for the pt, his wounds improved, confidence in the staff from his demanding family also grew to a positive, grateful relationship. Her care of this patient made his last few months positive with less intrusion on his life due to standardized wound care and healed wounds."

-Bethany Schempp