What is Nurses Week?

Every year, National Nurses Week is celebrated from May 6, National Nurses Day, to May 12, International Nurses Day—the birthday of Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing. It takes place annually and this is going to mark the 202nd year of celebration!!

Both National Nurses Day and what has become the “Week of the Nurse” are publicly celebrated observances to show appreciation for these essential workers and to recognize the nursing profession’s vital and unique contributions to health care and society at large. As a nation and community, we have a lot to be thankful for. Nurses bring a compassionate, personal touch to medical care.

During COVID-19, nurses have worked tirelessly on the front lines to ensure that people who need help are cared for. The pandemic has taken a toll on nurses’ morale and mental health. Nursing, in general, is stressful and COVID-19 only amplifies that. Therefore, it’s even more critical to use National Nurses’ Week to reach out and celebrate the nurses around you and throughout the world.

Nursing has become the largest health care profession in the US and one of the largest segments of our entire workforce. As a group, their integrity, compassion, and dedication are evidenced in public polls that repeatedly rank nurses as the most trusted profession in the US, known for their high ethical standards.

Health care professionals choose nursing for its emphasis on getting to know the whole individual and caring for their health and wellness holistically—medically, emotionally, and preventively. Nurses are known for their soothing bedside manner, relationship-building, patient and family education, and open lines of communication that hold client families and care teams together. In short, nurses get things done, care about people, and are the glue that holds many moving parts of the health care continuum together.

Demand is on the rise for nurses in all care settings, especially in home health care. Current trends in health care delivery measure success in terms of value and outcomes, and to improve outcomes, health care systems are emphasizing home- and community-based care services that can keep people safe, well, and out of the hospital. With lots of one-on-one time with the people they serve, home nurses are the eyes and ears that observe the day-to-day conditions that may be impacting an individual’s health, such as nutrition, stress, or sanitation, cementing the importance of nurses to improve health outcomes in the foreseeable future.

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