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Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus Nurse and Nursing Colleague Heads-up Nurses Honor Guard for New Jersey

Lakewood, NJ - Two Nursing School Colleagues of over 35 years, Sheri Cleaves, RN, CS, MSN, CCRN, CRNI, Administrative Director of Professional Development, at Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus, and Carole Kirkham, RN, BSN, FNE-CSA, CAPA Senior Staff Nurse at St Luke’s Medical Center have collaborated to initiate a New Jersey Chapter of a Nurses Honor Guard that pays a very special tribute to nurses who have died.New Jersey Chapter of a Nurses Honor Guard

The Nurses 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. .

Both nurses, who presented (pictured below) the newly formed New Jersey chapter at the New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA) Professional summit this fall, now help to coordinate these tributes in New Jersey.

“The Nurses Honor Guard dresses in the traditional white uniform complete with cap and cape, which was designed by one of Florence Nightingale's first students for her school of nursing,” said Cleaves. “The ceremony takes about five minutes, and consists of reciting the Nightingale Tribute and laying of a white rose on the casket or next to the urn, symbolizing the nurse’s dedication to the profession.”

She explains that after the Nightingale 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 the name,” she said. “After the roll call, the words are spoken that the nurse is officially released from their nursing duties. A lit Nightingale lamp is carried up at the beginning of the ceremony and is then extinguished and presented to the family with personal condolences made.”

If you need the services of The Nightingale Nurses Honor Guard of New Jersey, call Cleaves at 732.687.3711 or e-mail her at, or Kirkham at

About Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus

Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus, located in Lakewood, is a fully accredited acute care hospital dedicated to providing the finest medical and health care services to the residents of Ocean and Monmouth counties. An affiliate of the RWJBarnabas Health system, Monmouth South is a sister hospital to Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch. This partnership enhances patients’ access to emergency care, rehabilitation programs, health education, oncology services, geriatric medicine, and more. Monmouth South is the only hospital in the region to provide private rooms on all of its inpatient units, providing an environment more conducive to healing quickly. For more information about Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus, visit

CONTACT: Laurie Zalepka