About NCNA

2024 Nurses Week Message from NCNA President Trish Richardson

For Immediate Release
May 6, 2024


The American Nurses Association has declared “Nurses Make the Difference” as the theme for Nurses Week 2024. I join them in encouraging everyone to stop and recognize the vast contributions that nurses make every day and the numerous positive impacts on their patients, their communities, and the greater healthcare system. The next few days offer time to pause and collectively share our appreciation for nurses and their unwavering commitment to providing the safest care environment and striving for the best outcomes for all North Carolinians.

Nurses truly make the difference every day, and in every healthcare setting. Public health nurses are working in their communities, caring for their friends and neighbors, supporting their health and wellness including disease prevention and education, and advocating for resources and access to healthcare for underserved communities. School nurses are promoting a healthy academic environment by managing the needs of their students, providing them with essential education about their health and well-being, and supporting our children on their journey to academic success. Advanced Practice Registered Nurses are increasing access to quality care – and could be doing so much more.

Nurses are on the front lines, in direct patient care, in primary care offices, clinics, surgery centers, hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospice, home health, and more. Non-traditional nurses are advancing healthcare innovation and elevating the voice of nursing in state government. Did you know we have five nurses in the North Carolina state legislature on both sides of the aisle? These dedicated nurse leaders are boldly using their voices and extending a collaborative hand across party lines to advance Nursing Forward® in North Carolina.

In North Carolina, we are 158,000 Registered Nurses strong, and every semester brings another opportunity to welcome nurse graduates and newly licensed RNs to the profession. Over the past few months, I have been traveling throughout our great state to speak with nursing students and am excited to report that I have witnessed firsthand tremendous energy and enthusiasm with every connection. They tell me how excited they are about graduation and their upcoming transition to professional practice and chance to realize their long-awaited goal – to serve their communities as a registered nurse.

During Nurses Week, I encourage you to remember a time when a nurse was there for you. They may have stayed with you and held your hand as you anxiously waited to hear the results of your biopsy. Maybe they said exactly what you needed to hear, answered all your questions, and promised to be there for your father as he recovered from heart surgery, and for the first time in days, you felt comfortable enough to go home and get some rest. Perhaps they encouraged you to advocate for yourself about your care plan and where and when you would receive hemodialysis treatments or pulmonary rehabilitation. They might have joined you in prayer over a family member who was in a terrible accident or when you just needed someone to listen. Maybe the presence of your nurse, just them being there with you at that moment, made you feel seen. You knew you were not alone.

My friends, if you have someone in your family or a close friend who is a nurse, please take a moment out of your day to stop and say thank you and acknowledge their substantial impacts on patient health and health care across our great state. Your presence in their lives and words of appreciation could radically change their day in ways you may never realize.

If you are a nurse, on behalf of the NCNA, I want to share my sincere appreciation and gratitude for the difference you are making in the lives of all North Carolinians across our great state. I want you to know that I see you and celebrate your unwavering dedication to a life of service in the care of others and commitment to maintain and elevate the standard of our profession.

As always, it is with a grace-filled heart that I believe and know and have faith that together, WE will advance Nursing Forward®.


Trish Richardson, MSN, BSBA, RN, NE-BC, CMSRN
President, North Carolina Nurses Association


Chris Cowperthwaite, APR
Director of Communications and Outreach
(919) 821-4250 or

As the leading professional organization for North Carolina’s registered nurses, we equip nurses at all stages to thrive in an ever-changing healthcare environment. NCNA helps keep North Carolina nurses on the cutting edge of nursing practice, policy, education, and more. Join us as we work to advance nursing and ensure high-quality healthcare for everyone.

Established in 1902, NCNA provides continuing education, networking and legislative advocacy for registered nurses throughout North Carolina. For more information, please visit

The North Carolina Nurses Association serves the changing needs of its members, addresses nursing issues, and advocates for the health and well-being of all people.