National Nurses Week is celebrated annually from May 6 through May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. A “National Nurse Week” was first observed in 1954, the 100th anniversary of her mission to treat wounded soldiers during the Crimean War.
The nursing workforce
Nursing is the largest of the health care professions, and continues to grow. More job growth is projected in nursing than in any other occupation between 2008 and 2018.
Despite growth in the proportion of younger nurses for the first time since 1980, the nursing workforce still features a disproportionate number of nurses nearing retirement age.
Other trends show that nurses’ educational level has increased significantly over three decades, and that the workforce has become more racially and ethnically diverse. In addition, more men are choosing nursing as a career.
Delivering Quality and Innovation in Patient Care
The nursing profession plays an essential role in improving patient outcomes, increasing access, coordinating care, and reducing health care costs. That is why both the Affordable Care Act and the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Future of Nursing report place nurses at the center of health care transformation in the United States.
Nurses’ role in health care system transformation
The public wants leaders they can trust — and nurses consistently rank at the top of a respected annual poll as the most trusted profession.
This high regard for the profession, coupled with nurses’ education and skills, makes them well positioned to help transform the health care system into one that places more emphasis on prevention, wellness, and coordination of care.
As nurses, we have many roles – from staff nurse to educator to nurse practitioner and nurse researcher – and serve all of them with passion for the profession and with a strong commitment to patient safety.