I still struggle with not being there for the day of the Pulse event. In fact, the biggest complaint from team members was that no one called them. Two things helped ease my emotions. First, the director of patient and guest services emailed me a thorough update while I was still in Iceland and acknowledged how hard it must be not to be at the hospital. She told me how proud I should be of the ORMC nurses. The second thing happened upon my return. When I apologized to ORMC’s chief surgical quality officer for not being there, he looked me in the eye and said with sincerity, “You were here.” Although I wasn’t physically present on the day of the event, he gave me hope that my years of leadership influence had contributed to the successful outcomes we achieved during this horrific event.


In the time that has elapsed since the 2016 tragedy, the Orlando Health nursing team has been applauded on the national and international stages for their heroic initial response and for the care provided in the days and months that ensued. As nurse leaders reflect on lessons learned, successes can be attributed to 3 major themes: preparedness, teamwork and a culture of resiliency.