Honoring a Lifetime of Care: The Nurses Honor Guard

In the world of healthcare, nurses are the unsung heroes who weave the threads of compassion, dedication and expertise into the lives they touch. For those who dedicate their lives to this noble profession, there comes a time when their service deserves recognition beyond measure. Enter the Louisiana Nurses Honor Guard (LNHG).

To pay tribute to nurses at the time of death, the LNHG attends funerals and memorial services in traditional white uniforms to perform the Nightingale Tribute. Similar to a military tribute, this service is meant to honor the nurse and release them from his or her early nursing duties. 

The Ceremony lasts approximately five minutes and consists of reciting the Nightingale Tribute and laying a single white rose on the casket or next to the urn. This rose symbolizes the nurse’s dedication to the nursing profession. The nurse’s prayer and release of duty are then recited, signifying their official release of duty. Lastly, the Nightingale lamp is extinguished and presented to the family. 

This service is provided free of charge for any Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse at the funeral or memorial service. 

For elderly or terminally ill nurses, the LNGH offers a Living Tribute that is also free of charge to thank them for their service to the nursing profession. This brief service includes the presentation of a rose, a blanket and a lamp. 

The LNGH has chapters of nurse volunteers across the state, including Shreveport, Alexandria, Monroe, Lake Charles, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, Houma, New Orleans and the Northshore.

For questions about the Baton Rouge chapter, please contact via email at [email protected]


Additional contact information:

Louisiana Nurse Honor Guard (Mandeville) Clelie Dugan, PhD, RN 985-264-9998 [email protected]

LNHG of Acadiana (Lafayette) Dottie Landry, MSN, RN 985-804-4200 [email protected]

LNHG of the Bayou Region (Houma) Dawn Rousseau, RN 985-870-1126 [email protected]

LNHG of Central LA (Alexandria) Carla Jeansonne, BSN, RN 318-664-2539 [email protected]

LNHG of Greater Baton Rouge, LA Michele Blackwell, PhD, RN 225-931-0054 [email protected]

LNHG of Greater New Orleans Rosemarie de la Tour, BSN, RN 949-939-6044 [email protected]

North Louisiana NHG (Shreveport) Kimberly Ward, RN 318-510-4237 [email protected]

Northeast Louisiana NHG (Monroe) Vonny Thornton, MSN, RN 318-366-1177 [email protected]