Nurses Week 2009: “Nurses: Building a Healthy America”
In a field where it is the norm to work long shifts, heal wounds and even save lives, something must be said about how brave our nurses really are. With tedious schooling, knowing words like “aldosterone”, sun up to sun down hours, eating while reading charts, we could go on and on. It definitely takes a special someone to take on this career field. That’s why at Uniform Advantage, we salute nurses and all it takes to be a medical hero. Read our Nurses Week blog to learn about the history of nurses’ week, Florence Nightingale and these special individuals who make a difference.
National Nurses Week begins on May 6th and ends on May 12th every year. This special event started in January of 1974. The International Council of Nurses (ICN) announced that May would be “International Nurse Day” as a day of celebration and recognition of the advancement of nursing. This expanded to a week in 1990 by the ANA Board of Directors. The purpose of Nurses Week is to honor nurses who give care to millions of patients and individuals who participate in the education and advancement of nursing.
The date holds significance of remembering the birthday of Florence Nightingale who was a pioneer of modern nursing. Born in May, (5/12/1820 – 8/13/1910) in England, Florence Nightingale was one of the first noted heroic nurses in history. With her inspiring work in Crimea, Florence and 38 volunteer nurses (which she trained herself) went to care for wounded soldiers in un-livable conditions. She alone reportedly treated 2,000 patients. Florence improved the living conditions of the wounded by thoroughly cleaning the hospital and equipment, and reorganizing patient care. This was of importance as infection control was poor at that time. Nightingale’s work received massive recognition and support where she was given the name “The Lady of the Lamp” due to her carrying a lamp around, working well into the night, every night. Florence Nightingale’s work revolutionized the field of medicine as the Union government approached her for advice on organizing the field. Her work inspired the volunteer body of United States Sanitary Commission and US volunteers like Dorothea Dix, Clara Barton and Cornelia Hancock.
Today, nursing is one of the most in-demand fields. It’s estimated that by the year 2020, there will be a shortage of 800,000 nurses. There’s no doubt this career is not only special, but mandatory for America’s health. Nursing is one of the most praised professions, due to the hard work and commitment it requires from its students. Nurses deserve their praise and recognition for the job that literally saves lives. With even the smallest care, nurses make a difference with their trained eye for detail. No medical facility can function without nurses who do it all from basic care to delivering babies.
The theme for Nurses Week 2009 is “Nurses: Building a Healthy America”. The purpose of the event this year is to reflect the commitment nurses make every day for their patients, their communities, and their country. Help us celebrate nurses everywhere by leaving a comment about a special nurse you know, an inspiring story on the nursing care you give, or what if feels like to be a member of such an important community. No matter what the story, share your thoughts on nurses with Uniform Advantage as we take the time to recognize the reason why we do what we do: YOU!
~ Tamara Taylor