Nurse Appreciation Week

Beth Dumbauld

Nurse Appreciation WeekBy Danielle Koons

Whether you’re taking nursing classes or enrolled in an online nursing program, or even if you just know someone who is pursing their nursing degree online, we think you’ll appreciate Danielle Koons’ following post dedicated to all nurses for Nurse Appreciation Week.

As you may know, National Nurses Week, aka Nurse Appreciation Week, is coming up fast. I can think of no better way to say “Thank You” to nurses all over the world than for us to stay healthy and happy! Or get sick, since that’s how they make money?

The history of Nurse Appreciation Week is an interesting one. For instance, did you know that it ends on Florence Nightingale’s birthday? Florence Nightingale is probably the most famous, and influential, nurses in history. Her work in the medical field radically changed and improved how hospitals are run, and many of her medical practices still used in the healthcare industry today. (If you decide to pursue your nursing degree online, you’ll learn just how influential she was!)

Florence Nightingale’s supervision at the British base hospital, Scutari, in Constantinople during the Crimean War reduced the hospital’s death rate by 66%! Her endless compassion and dedication earned her the nicknames “the Lady with the Lamp” (because she was always wandering the hallways making sure everyone was alright) and “the Angel of the Crimea.” To say that Florence Nightingale was an amazing person simply doesn’t do justice to her.

Nurse Appreciation Day was first suggested by Dorothy Sutherland in 1953, who was a member of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. She sent the proposal to President Eisenhower to make a “Nurse Day” sometime in October, but it never went through. A few times after that it was weakly suggested, but again, nothing ever happened.

In 1974, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) decided to forget getting the proposal passed by any government and declared that May 12th would be “International Nurse Day.” (May 12th is the birthday of the great Florence Nightingale, the most famous nurse in history.) I like that the ICN just voted and did it themselves. You can say what you want about nurses, but they get stuff done!

I think one of the most useful qualities nurses have is the desire and will to do what is right, despite whatever or whoever is against them. You’ve really got to have what it takes to become a nurse!

For instance, I owe my life to a nurse at a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, who came back to see my mom (who was pregnant with me) after her shift ended, to check in and see how she was doing. My mom had been having contractions for almost two days and the doctor didn’t think he needed to induce the labor to speed it up. She argued with the doctor that it was dangerous to have the baby endure contractions for much longer. But when he still didn’t do anything she threatened to go over his head and get him fired for all sorts of negligence and many other big scary words. My mom heard the nurse chewing him out in the hallway outside her door. Mind you, this nurse wasn’t even assigned to my mom. Less than ten minutes later, my mom was wheeled into the delivery room and had perfect little me! So like I said, I owe my life to this nurse who stood up for what she believed was right. She stood up to a doctor and threatened the pants off him to make sure my mom delivered a healthy happy baby. Because unlike many other jobs, when it comes to right and wrong in nursing it also means life and death. That’s why training to become a nurse is so rigorous.

In 1978, The New Jersey Governor Brendon Byrne declared May 6th as “Nurses Day,” since for a few years now it kept moving around and was only valid for that year. Governor Byrne promoted the day on his own. New Jersey loves their nurses and pays the 4th highest in the nation for nursing jobs!

After a few more years of getting bounced around in the government, President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation on May 6, 1982. The Nurses Appreciation Day was finally an annual day of recognition. But why stop there! In 1993, the ANA Board of Directors decided that one day doesn’t do justice to all the hard work and dedication of nurses everywhere. Nurses need a week! So now Nurses Appreciation Day is from May 6th to May 12th, and it’s their week every year.

Since they have the whole week, some days are designated for certain sections of nursing. For instance, May 8th is for National Student Nurses Day. (Which makes it the perfect time for you to sign up to take nursing prerequisites online at StraighterLine!)

Clearly, there is no end to how much we love and adore the nurses around the world. Even though the official appreciation dates are only a week long, you and I both know that we appreciate them the whole year through. Nurses are a special group of people and I for one wouldn’t be here without the help of a very exceptional nurse! From all of us, we thank you.

Happy Nurse Appreciation Week to all nurses out there, but an extra special thanks to our StraighterLine students who are enrolled in an online nursing program and pursuing their online degree in nursing.

Danielle Koons spends her time going to school for a stupid Bachelor of Science degree, smelling like wet dog (courtesy of her job as a groomer), and pretending to be a famous writer. But not a boring stuffy writer. A cool writer like Lewis Carroll, so she can ignore the “rules” of the English language and make up her own words.

 

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