Nurse Honor Guard Visits UH St. John Medical Center

Lynn Kaplan, BSN, RN, OCN & Vanessa Ryks, RN, OCN & Barb Hertrick, BSN, RN & Laura Gartner, BSN, RN

The Nurse Honor Guard pays tribute to nurses at the time of their death by performing the Nightingale Tribute at the funeral or memorial service. This service is similar to a military tribute and officially releases the nurse from their nursing duties. The NEOH (Northeast Ohio) Nurse Honor Guard was founded Jan. 26, 2022 and is welcoming new members.

The ceremony is a moving tribute in which the Honor Guard dresses in white scrubs, complete with cap and cape. After recalling a brief summary of the nurse’s career, an Honor Guard member recites the Nightingale Tribute and lays a white rose on the casket or urn, symbolizing the nurse’s dedication to the profession. After the Tribute is recited, a triangle is rung after a roll call for the nurse – the nurse’s name is called three times and the triangle is rung after each call of their name. After this roll call, an Honor Guard member declares that the nurse is officially released from their nursing duties. A lit Nightingale lamp, carried up at the beginning of the ceremony, is then extinguished and presented to the family with condolences given. The family is also presented with a personalized framed certificate of accomplishment for the nurse’s career.

Shelly Loop, RN, Nurse Manager at UH St. John Medical Center

Anyone interested can find more information at the public Facebook page, @FriendsOfNortheastOhioNurseHonorGuard, which also serves as the means for families to find the group and request services. The group can be reached via email at for questions about services or becoming a member.

We service the counties of Western Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Cuyahoga, Eastern Lorain, Medina, Summit and Stark. While this group currently serves a large geographical area, the ideal plan is to have a total of three groups of nurses to serve Cleveland East side, Central/South side, West side – this way, no one is driving hours to attend a ceremony.

Please visit our FB page or email to find out more about this amazing way to honor those who choose this noble profession.

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