By Michelle Clarke
It’s that time of year when we take a moment to appreciate and celebrate nurses for all of their contributions and commitment to providing quality patient care. Nurses Week begins May 6th and ends May 12th, on what would have been Florence Nightingale’s 199th birthday. The theme of this year’s Nursing Week is “4 Million Reasons to Celebrate” – a reference to the 4 million registered nurses in the United States.
Nurses are the largest group of healthcare professionals in the U.S. and for the last 17 years, the public has voted nursing as the most honest and ethical profession. Nurses are on the frontline in almost every clinical setting, they deliver quality and culturally competent patient care to individuals, families, and communities.
“Nurses’ role in navigating and addressing an ever-changing and complex health care landscape is undisputable. Our knowledge and experiences as nurses inform our work as researchers, executives, educators and policymakers,” said ANA President Ernest Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Sheer numbers and wide-ranging roles across countless specialties enable us to be a trusted advocate for millions of people from birth to the end of life, and in moments of joy and loss. No matter who you are, you can join us in celebrating the men and women who improve our lives and society every day.”
Nurses’ commitment to solving public health challenges, influencing health policy decisions, joining boards of directors and developing ground-breaking innovation will help to transform health care to focus on health and wellness, in addition to illness.