CHARLOTTE – National Nurses’ Week will be celebrated Thursday, May 6 through Wednesday, May 12, 2022. May 12 is the birthday of the revered Florence Nightingale’s birthday, best known as the founder of modern nursing. She is known, among many contributions, for her leadership in heading 38 volunteer nurses to staff a hospital during the Crimean War for the British Army. During this time, most hospitals had terrible sanitation issues that caused a high mortality rate of patients. Nightingale was able to link the mortality rate of around 50% with those poor sanitation conditions. Using sanitation and cleanliness at hospitals and facilities, they were able to decrease the mortality rate of admitted and treated patients to around 2%. Her link between sanitation within hospital facilities and mortality rates in turn created the reform of healthcare that has influenced the quality of care well into the 19th and 20th centuries. For this, her birthday marks the date that International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world.
Each year around the world National Nurses’ Week is celebrated for the selfless work that nurses do for others. The week gives people an opportunity to acknowledge and thank nurses in the industry for the work they have done as a whole. During the week, several days are dedicated to certain nurses. May 11th is celebrated as National School Nurse Day, May 8th is dedicated to student nurses, and May 12th is honored as International Nurses Day. Being a nurse is a stressful job, and over the last 2 years, the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic has only amplified it. It is more critical now than ever to make sure that National Nurses’ Week is celebrated for their selfless acts during not only a time of need in our country but the entire world. Supporting them and showing appreciation during the week of honor and every day is important to make sure that they are able to be emotionally engaged with their patients and able to provide excellent care.
“Being a preceptor is an absolute honor,” said Gina Harstell, a Registered Nurse and Preceptor at Novant Health Mint Hill Medical Center. “I personally love teaching and guiding new nurses, nursing students, and new hires that are new to our unit. Working on the Med-Surg floor has been rather different these past few years, and being able to guide the newcomers has been excited and rewarding most of all.”
“During this pandemic, I have not only learned a lot about myself but a new way of teaching as well,” continues Harstell. “Showing the nurses how to be mindful of certain tasks and signs that our COVID-19 patients needed extra attention was key. Taking care of COVID-19 patients was sometimes scary to my preceptors, but I showed them to trust and that together we can do this! Of course, it is scary and nerve-wracking at times, but our patients are even more scared and unsure of what the day will bring. I have guided my preceptors to help better manage their time while in the COVID-19 rooms and helped the patient feel not alone or scared, but relaxed and comforted by our conversations. With all of our PPE, it is hard for the patient to understand, but a hand touch and having conversations about their lives were comforting to them. My preceptors are always impressed by how you can truly make someone feel human and not lonely by getting down to the patients’ level and always putting their needs first.”
National Nurses’ Week is a time to honor nurses in many ways. It is a great time to reach out to nurses that you know or nurses at a local facility that provide care to the community. A special note or a thank you gift is always welcomed. When nurses hear from their peers and community how appreciated they are, it is a great way to build chemistry and a sense of camaraderie to honor them. National Nurses’ Week is a great time to set aside time to celebrate their efforts and what they do for the community. They bring so much to the industry and without them, the quality of care just would not be the same.
The community wants to Thank all the Nurses for their dedicated and selfless acts!