Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Celebrating Nurse Week in 2017

nurses should be honored for their contributions to society
The American Nurses Association announced Nurses: “Making a Difference Every Day” as the theme for Nurses Week. Nurses Week in the U.S. is celebrated May 6 to 12. Nurses Day is May 6.
The Canadian Nurses Association decided to reprise last year's theme because of its popularity. Think you Know Nursing? Take a Closer Look will once again be the theme for Nurses Week which will be celebrated May 12-18. Nurses Day is May 12.

The International Council of Nurses has declared Delivering Quality, Serving Communities Nurses Leading Primary Health Care as the theme for International Nurses Day which is May 12 in honor of the birth date of Florence Nightingale.

Florence Nightingale is one of the most revered icons of the nursing profession. Although over the years many have challenged having Nurses Day or Nurses Week honor her stating that she does not accurately represent modern nursing, none have succeeded.

Known as the Lady with the Lamp, Florence Nightingale earned her reputation as a pioneer in nursing for her work during the Crimean War in Turkey. In 1854, she took 38 nurses with her to attend to wounded soldiers in Scutari, Turkey. She observed the unsanitary conditions and surmised that they contributed to the death rate of the soldiers, perhaps more than their injuries. Here are some contributions:,%20Inc.,-Inc./57ced86c1126f4220a8b6080/#lat=40.609253&lng=-73.956167&zoom=15

As she began to impose and implement improved sanitary conditions, the death rate declined and she collected this data. (Over six months the death rate had declined from 60%% to 2%.) With this data, she invented the PIE chart and proved to the military that the poor conditions contributed to the high death rate of the soldiers. She was then able to raise funds through the London Times to order more clothing, bedding and bandaging materials for the soldiers.

Taking on more of an administrative role, Ms. Nightingale continued to visit the wards at night. Her rule that she be the only woman on the wards at night earned her the title of the Lady with the Lamp.

The nursing profession has come a long way since then. Nurses Day and Week celebrations are designed to honor nurses for their continued efforts to promote health and wellness and role in primary health care. Nurses make a difference in someone's life everyday!

Help Honor a Nurse

The general public can help honor nurses during Nurses Week or on Nurses Day and help raise awareness of the nursing profession by:

  • writing letters to the editor of local newspapers asking everyone to do something to thank a nurse
  • encouraging local government officials to take out an ad in a local newspaper to honor nurses or to issue a Proclamation for Nurses Day or Nurses Week
  • local merchants can honor nurses by offering discounts for their goods or services for Nurses Day or during Nurses Week
  • establish a local scholarship fund for new nurses and nurses continuing their education
Honoring nurses and raising awareness of the nursing profession will help to encourage young people to explore a career in nursing. There is a tremendous shortage of nurses worldwide which is expected to reach crisis levels in the next decade as the population ages and grows.

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