By NCNA President Elaine M. Scherer, MAEd, BSN, RN
May 6, 2019
National Nurses Week was first declared 26 years ago in 1993 to celebrate and elevate the nursing profession. This is a time that individuals, employers, other health care professionals, and community leaders as well as nurses are encouraged to pause and recognize the contributions and positive impact of America’s 4 million nurses.
For the past 17 consecutive years the American public has ranked the nursing profession with the highest honesty and ethical standards, according to Gallup. We are honored and strive to continue to earn that most important accolade. We consistently work to uphold high standards by committing to culturally competent care as we work closely with our patients from birth to death.
In addition to bedside care in hospitals and long-term care facilities, we are also in clinics and schools; we are proud to serve on boards in our communities, in the military, in public health service, and beyond. We have been successful in every arena that we have attempted because of our focus on health and wellness in addition to acute care.
I am proud to be the elected President of the North Carolina Nurses Association, a non-profit organization that represents more than 136,000 Registered Nurses in our state. You will find RNs everywhere there is a need in North Carolina.
We are working to increase the presence of Registered Nurses in our public schools and to ensure that all nurses can work to the full extent of their licenses and education in specialties such as geriatrics, mental health, family health, obstetrics, anesthesia and many others. Research findings continue to support that access to affordable health care in North Carolina is greatly enhanced by nurses.
Health care in the United States is increasingly complex and nurses are there to support families as they navigate through the system. Let us celebrate nurses’ voices on important issues like immunization, health behaviors, natural disaster preparedness, education and violence prevention. This year’s theme for National Nurses Week, “4 Million Reasons to Celebrate,” is a nod to the sheer number of nurses in the country and an open invitation to #ThankaNurse for enriching lives and the world in which we live. Nursing Forward®