Today marks the start of National Nurses’ Week. Through May 12, we will celebrate nurses around the US – and worldwide - for the work they do for others and their significant contributions to our health care system.
Nursing is the nation's largest healthcare profession, with more than 3.8 million registered nurses (RNs) in the United States. The U.S. government anticipates the profession will grow by more than 200,000 new positions each year through 2026.
Nurses have always played – and will continue to play – a critical role in keeping citizens healthy worldwide. But their contributions have been especially vital over the last year as we’ve battled COVID-19 around the world.
This global pandemic has made clear the role of nurses as care-givers, healers, and patient advocates. While on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses have risked their health and wellbeing for the common good. This includes risking personal safety to treat patients with COVID-19, working long hours to compensate for busy health clinics and hospitals, and being a friend to millions of patients unable to see their loved-ones during this international health crisis.
It’s for this reason, the World Health Organization designated 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife.
The Scientific American sums up their contributions quite nicely:
“From providing direct care to affected hospitalized patients to leading full scale public health operations, nurses are front and center working around the clock to protect the health and well-being of patients and the public at large.”
Simply put: Nurses are integral to public health infrastructure. We owe them a debt of gratitude.
This week especially, please join BIO in recognizing nurses for all their contributions to society. Be sure to thank a nurse (or two!) in your life.