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Each year National Nurses Week is celebrated from May 6 – 12. I don’t know if everyone is aware of the history and why do we celebrate nurses during this week. Most nurses I’ve talked to don’t realize the recognition for nurses began in 1954 when National Nurse Week was observed from October 1 –16 — the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale's mission to Crimea.
A bill was introduced for national recognition of nurses in the 1955 Congress, but no action was taken. Through the years, there were several resolutions and proclamations for nurse recognition, but no national action until 1982 when the American Nurses Association (ANA) Board of Directors formally acknowledged May 6, 1982 as "National Nurses Day." The action affirmed a joint resolution of the United States Congress designating May 6 as "National Recognition Day for Nurses." In 1994, the ANA Board of Directors designated May 6 - 12 as permanent dates to observe National Nurses Week. So we begin our week with National Nurses Day and end with the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s Birthday.
This year the theme for the week is Nurses: Advocating, Leading, Caring . What a fitting description of Community’s nurses! Every day our nurses advocate for their patients, lead patient care teams, unit teams and hospital teams. And we care—for our patients, their families, and our colleagues. Sometimes we hear great stories about our caring nurses. Take a look back at may 4th’s Fresno Bee. There's a letter to the editor about the “Caring Emergency Room” at Community Regional Medical Center. While these publicly shared moments of caring are important, I know each of our nurses has impacted patients that we will never hear from. Those private moments are ones that help us remember why we entered the profession and keep us going every day.
It thrills me to be present at an annual Valley tradition—the “RN of the Year” Awards Banquet, which was held Thursday evening, May 3 to kick off National Nurses Week. Each year we nominate a few of our great nurses to be recognized. Please take a few minutes to read the great story on our web site about our nominees and winners —Karen Buckley, RN, Community Regional CNO; Julia Bay, RN, Community Regional Surgery; and Renee Tarasen, RN, Home Health. Each of the winners and all of our nominees are phenomenal nurses. Their passion for patient care is evident in their work every day; our community is blessed to have these—and all Community’s nurses caring for them.
And be sure to look in Sunday’s Fresno Bee and again later in the week for our full page tribute to our nurses. In gathering the content for this celebration ad, we asked our nurses about their profession and passion. It makes me so proud to read what they said. I’m sharing it here: