ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - Nursing is more than a job to Shelby Bassford. It's what makes her heart feel whole.
"I love every minute of what I do," she said.
Sometimes, it's a tough task taking care of pint-sized patients at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. Shelby's the eyes and ears of her patients' medical team.
"You see the needs that maybe others don't," she said.
Being a registered nurse often comes along with grueling hours. For Shelby, that means a 12-hour day. But Monday morning, the hospital made sure nurses knew how much they're valued. They celebrated National Nurses Week with a free breakfast for nurses and a big thank-you.
"Nurses give of themselves without any thought. Really, they give of themselves on a day-to-day basis, whether it’s taking care of families or taking care of patients," ACH Chief Nursing Officer Veronica Martin said.
Martin has been in the profession for more than two decades. She says the methods of nursing have evolved with technology.
"What has not changed in my 25 years of nursing is the gift of doing the right thing for patients every day," she continued.
It's a profession requiring a passion for helping others. Shelby says she feels she was born to help others heal.
"You're in the front line there for them and for their families," she smiled.
There are more than 3 million nurses across the United States, making up the largest health care profession.