Thursday, May 05, 2005

American Nurses Association | National Nurses Week

National Nurses Week starts May 6 and ends May 12 on Florence Nightingale's birthday. This year's theme is: "Nurses: Many Roles, One Profession."

An annual weeklong celebration is promoted primarily by the American Nurses Association with the goal of raising awareness of the important role nurses play in our lives.

"This year's theme underscores the breadth of directions that a nurse's career may take," said ANA president Barbara Blakeney, MS, RN. "Although nurses historically have provided hands-on patient care at the bedside - and will continue to do so - nurses also are deeply involved in health education, research, business and public policy," she added.

Registered nurses (RNs) represent the largest, single component of the health care profession with an estimated 2.7 million RNs in the United States. According to a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. currently has a nurse shortage of nearly 150,000 RNs and will have a shortage of more than 800,000 RNs by the year 2020. "One of the goals of National Nurses Week is to remind the public of the critical role that nurses play," said Linda Stierle, MSN, RN, CNAA,BC, ANA's chief executive officer. "However, it also is important to point out what nurses need to provide top notch patient care," she added.

The week celebrates nurses' unending commitment to helping people lead better, longer, more fulfilling lives. Nurses are the front line of health care, providing care to individuals directly. Nurses help treat and comfort patients through every step of the health care system. In hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, schools and workplaces, nurses give themselves to better the health and well-being of their patients. (full press release)

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