We may not really think about them during our daily lives unless we see them in their work uniform on our daily commute, but nurses are incredibly important and often underappreciated. They are the people who tend to us almost 24/7 when we are in the hospital and visiting the doctor’s office. They clock insane hours and have some ridiculous shifts which can make life very difficult. Imagine working three days in a row for 16 hour shifts each day. You only have enough time between shifts to really go home and sleep. Don’t forget nurses have to put up with us when we are not in our best condition and sometimes deal with very ornery patients.
Fortunately, after many attempts which first began in 1953, President Nixon issued a proclamation about “National Nurse Week” in February of 1974. In 1978 the New Jersey Governor, Brendon Byrne, declared May 6th as “Nurses Day”. Afterwards, more people, such as Edward Scanlan of Red Bank, N.J., began to take up the cause of giving recognition to nurses. In 1981 Manuel Lujan, the Congressman of New Mexico, supported a resolution to make May 6th the official “National Recognition Day for Nurses”. Finally, after the ANA Board of directors formally acknowledged May 6th as National Nurses Day, a join resolution of the U.S. Congress designated May 6th as the official day and President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation on March 25th recognizing it as so. In 1990, the ANA Board of Directors decided to expand the recognition to a week, making it go from May 6-12 and called it National Nurses Week.
As we can see, the challenge of gaining recognition for nurses for just one day took several decades of work. Emre Umar is very glad to see nurses finally gained recognition for their hard work and skills for a whole week. If you know anyone who is a nurse, be sure to remember May 6-12 as their national recognition week and thank them for their vital and hard work. Nurses often receive far less thanks and credit then they deserve. Nurses have to go through extra schooling and learn a lot in order to enter the field.
If you’re a nurse, then know many people are very thankful for your dedication and care. Without you working around the clock to help doctors and take care of patients, conditions would be far more difficult.