Arkansas Nurses Honor Guard is a nonprofit organization that recognizes and pays tribute to the men and women who have dedicated their lives to the nursing profession. They pay tribute to these individuals upon their death at their funeral or memorial service with a short yet beautiful ceremony. Typically, most families will request that they perform the ceremony towards the end of the service, but it may be performed whenever that family prefers.
Though no two tributes are ever the same, each tribute includes the following main features. They speak about the life of the nurse they are there for and their career. They then begin the Nightingale Tribute by presenting a white rose and lighting a nursing lamp of knowledge as a symbol of honor and appreciation to our colleague. They read a poem called "She was there" by Duane Jaeger, RN, MSN. They also ask any nurses present during the service to stand at their seat so they may also be included in paying tribute to their coworker and friend. Then a final roll call is done, where they call the nurse's name three times and ring a bell or triangle each time. Upon the third name call they officially release the nurse of their nursing duties and extinguish the nurse's lamp before presenting it to the family to keep along with a white rose.
The ceremony typically takes less than 10-15 minutes and can be tailored in a multitude of ways to make it unique for the nurse being honored. It's a simple, yet beautiful tribute to the nurses who have given so much over the years. And it is also a thank you to their family, who have often been right there beside them through their career.
Their service is completely free to any nurse; LPN, RN or APRN upon their passing. Our entire organization is made up of volunteers who so graciously devote themselves to pay tribute and honor fellow nurses.
Oftentimes we are directly contacted through our Facebook page by a fellow ANHG member or family member of the nurse to request our services but we do recommend that all of our Chapter Leaders connect with local funeral directors and provide them with our organization's brochure with contact information for all established chapters so they may offer our services to the family when a nurse arrives in their care.
We have been blessed to work together with some very amazing funeral directors all across the state and would like to encourage any Arkansas funeral director to reach out to us if they would like more information.
Contact Elsie Collins for more information
Elsie Collins, LPN
Arkansas Nurses Honor Guard Founder, State Leader, & NEA Chapter Leader
Download Honor Guard Brochure