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Many nurses are using the national week of recognition to bring to light the working conditions that many of them endure on a daily basis.
May 6 marks National Nurses Day, a celebration for these health care professionals and recognition of their vast contributions and positive impacts in the lives of patients and their families. The day begins the National Nurses Week (NNW), which ends on May 12, in honor of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale’s birthday.
The national day of recognition follows a recent statement made by Senator Maureen Walsh regarding a bill that would provide uninterrupted rest breaks and meals for registered and licensed practical nurses, except in certain cases. The senator remarked that nurses in smaller hospitals “probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day,” according to aContemporary Clinicarticle.
In opposition to the senator’s statement, many of the approximately 4 million registered nurses in the United States are using the national day and week of recognition to bring to light the working conditions that many of them endure on a daily basis. Oftentimes, nurses are placed in conflicting and stressful situations without a moment’s rest. According to a 2016 report through the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace hazards for registered nurses resulted in 19,790 nonfatal injuries and illnesses that required at least 1 day away from work.1
Many registered nurses and other health care professions have expressed hope that a dialogue of nurse’s active work within the industry will serve as a catalyst for change.
The American Nurses Association began the National Nurse Day on May 6, 1996 to “honor the nation’s indispensable registered nurses for their tireless commitment 365 days a year.”2NNW also includes May 8 as National Student Nurses Day.