By Pamela Stern

National Nurses Week honors the contributions and sacrifices that nurses make and it reminds us to thank the medical professionals who keep us healthy. National Nurses Week is celebrated between May 6th, (National Nurses Day), and May 12th, (the birthdate of nurse Florence Nightingale).

Nurses are one of the many health professionals who were on the frontlines during the Covid-19 pandemic. These professionals are the ones who in some cases were with our loved ones in their final moments when families were not allowed to enter the hospitals or nursing homes. They are the ones who were holding our loved ones hands before they passed away. They took care of their patients and were not afraid to work during the pandemic, not knowing what or how the virus was and how it was infecting so many people and fately destroying people’s immune system.

The International Council of Nurses established May 12th as International Nurses Day in 1974. The celebration was extended to a week a few years later, and National Nurses Week was officially born in 1994. The American Nurses Association sponsored and promoted the weeklong event highlighting the crucial contributions that nurses make to the community.

Nurses assist with life-threatening ER crises to delivering babies and caring for the elderly in their last moments. They perform some of the most difficult and heartbreaking tasks in the medical world. Nurses serve as the first point of contact for most patients.

Nurses are recognized as highly specialized professionals with a wide range of skills. This versatile career with dozens of specialties is a crucial link between patients and doctors. Nurses work in a wide range of specialties and settings, from school nurses who administer vaccines to highly specialized oncology nurses who assist in life-saving treatment decisions. Happy National Nurses Week to all of the Nurses out there.

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Pamela Stern