The celebration of Nurses Week, which runs from May 6th through May 12th, culminates on Florence Nightingale’s birthday. It began in 1953 when Dorothy Sutherland made a proposal to President Eisenhower to create a nurse’s day in the following year. Although the proclamation did not come to fruition, National Nurse Week was celebrated on the hundredth anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s Crimean mission.
National Nurses Week is Proclaimed
For the next two decades, no action was taken on Nurse Day, nor was a subsequent National Nurse Week proclaimed. In 1972 a resolution was presented to President Nixon, and again, nothing happened. The International Council of Nurses made May 12th International Nurse Day in recognition of Florence Nightingale’s contribution to the advancement of the profession.
This act prompted President Nixon to issue a proclamation designating National Nurse Week. But it wasn’t until 1981 the American Nurses Association rallied in support to establish a national recognition day for nurses. The final step occurred in 1990 when the day was expanded to a week-long celebration and the dates became permanent for National Nurses Week.
Nurses Are the Backbone of Healthcare
Nurses are the backbone of hospital care and excellence in medical care. Without this group of men and women who have dedicated their lives to caring for others, the healthcare profession would be at a loss. While hospitals and healthcare offices celebrate National Nurses Week, it helps to remember the men and women who came before us in a time in history when nursing may not have had the reputation it has today.
Florence Nightingale was born in 1820. It required patience and convincing to persuade her parents to allow her to enter nurses training. During the Crimean War this brave woman was consulted by the Secretary of War to help gather nurses to improve sanitary conditions and reduce the death rate of soldiers.
Nurses were also instrumental in reducing pain, suffering and death rate during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic which claimed more lives than any pandemic since. Although the death rate was similar to influenza, between 1% and 3%, nearly 90% of the population in the world was infected. Researchers estimate between 50 million and 100 million people died from 1918 to 1919.
Nurses were at the forefront of this battle, caring for patients in the hospital and in tent hospitals when there were no beds available. In Boston, a tent hospital was set up on Corey Hill to accommodate 351 of the sickest sailors off Navy ships in Boston Harbor. Nurses and doctors working together recognized the benefits of outdoor fresh air and sunshine. Patients were brought outside their tents each day, which ultimately reduced the death rate.
Nurses Creativity and Innovation Are Critical to Medical Care
Creativity has always played a significant role in caregiving and innovation. Nurses across the world provide up to 80% of care and are in a critical position to use their creativity, flexibility, and organization to improve care.
These factors and more are the many reasons nurses deserve celebrations all year round! At Anodyne, we are excited and honored to be working with healthcare professionals who put their lives on hold to ensure others can live a healthy life.
Thank you to all the nurses who work with Anodyne and to those who serve our communities and countries around the world!
Are You Ready to Join Us?
Our professional recruiters at Anodyne recognize the challenges nurses face each day. We are here to help and support all our healthcare providers. Call us today if you are looking for a new assignment or would like to discuss how you can join the ranks of those who care and care for others.