With courage and compassion, our nation’s nurses have persevered during one of the greatest healthcare crises in modern times to care for others. This May 6-12, we honor them during National Nurses Week and recognize the everyday bravery and sacrifice of these 4 million+ professionals.
Through their sheer numbers and wide-ranging roles, nurses have always had a unique perspective on prevention, wellness and delivery of healthcare services. Nurses are everywhere we live, work, play, learn, and worship and in every health care setting providing care to millions of people. Nurses are closest to patients, from birth to the end of life. The impact of nurses on healthcare directly affects the health and well-being of our society. Nurses make a difference as trusted advocates who ensure individuals, families and communities receive quality care and services. Nurses also make a difference by influencing and shaping health policy decisions that ensure all Americans have access to quality and affordable healthcare.
History of National Nurses Week
In 1953, President Eisenhower created an official nurse day. About 20 years later, President Nixon created a week in February 1974 to acknowledge the nursing profession. In 1978, New Jersey’s governor, Brendon Byrne, declared May 6 as National Nurses Day.
In 1981, there was an assassination attempt on President Reagan. He received care from a team of nurses who dislodged a bullet inches from his heart. After his recovery, Reagan tracked down the nurses and sent them words of encouragement and thank you notes. In 1982, Ronald Reagan signed an executive order making it official on May 6, 1982. In 1993, the American Nurses Association (ANA) Board of Directors designated May 6 – 12 as permanent dates to observe National Nurses Week in 1994 and all subsequent years. May 12 is the birthday of Florence Nightingale.
Losses and triumphs
Nurses have seen our nation through more than two years of heartbreaking losses and times of triumph on the frontlines of healthcare facilities. In the early days of the pandemic, facing the risk of their own infection, nurses quickly adapted to new procedures and regulations to slow the spread of the virus. They dealt with staffing and equipment shortages and regulatory guidance that brought more questions than answers at times. Despite the challenges and uncertainty, they continued doing what they do best – caring for others.
Nurses who work in nursing home and assisted living settings have been greatly impacted. These nurses have the responsibility for ensuring that their residents have professional, dignified and compassionate care. Long-term care nurses help residents function at their optimum level of independence while ensuring their needs are met. However, long-term care residents bore a disproportionate share of morbidity and mortality during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. These losses and the isolation of lockdown took their toll, but nurses provided comfort even during the darkest days. They also were there to celebrate resident recoveries, the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines and life-saving treatments, and the end of nursing home lockdowns.
No matter where they work, nurses will always be vital to the daily functioning of our healthcare facilities and those they serve. Please join Supply360 in showing our deepest gratitude for the women and men across the nation who work as nurses. Their unwavering commitment to their profession and those they care for is appreciated and it’s one of the reasons that we do what we do.
Supply360 is honored to work with facilities and nursing professionals to make caring for residents easier, safer and more efficient. Thank you for enriching the lives of your residents, their families and your communities. We wish you a great National Nurses Week!