About NCNA

Nurses Week 2020: Coronavirus in the Year of the Nurse

Dennis Taylor
President, North Carolina Nurses Association

Every year the President of the North Carolina Nurses Association (NCNA) writes a “Happy Nurses Week” letter. It is normally a happy, celebratory message. This year, under the specter of a global pandemic, National Nurses Week may not be quite as exuberant as usual, but its relevance seems to have grown exponentially. Never in my lifetime have I seen the public look to nurses the way they are right now.

Coronavirus has highlighted our profession in a way that no other health crisis has in more than a century. What people are seeing and what I see makes me proud: bravery, professionalism, and dedication. Nurses have always been the patient’s best advocate in any healthcare situation, and this pandemic is putting that unique relationship into a whole new perspective.

Nurses are working at the bedside in hospitals and long-term care facilities. We are in the military, in public health, in clinics, and in schools. We serve as hospital executives and as volunteers. For the last 18 years, Gallup has ranked nursing as the most ethical and honest profession in the country. I cannot imagine that streak will end anytime soon.

NCNA is advocating hard for nurses to be able to care for patients in a safe work environment, with the personal protective equipment they need to accompany widespread testing and contact tracing capabilities. We are also fighting for the profession and patients by pushing for all nurses to work to the full extent of their licenses and education.

I am beyond proud to be the elected president of the North Carolina Nurses Association, a non-profit professional organization representing all 140,000 Registered Nurses in the state. We provide vital continuing education, professional development, legislative advocacy, and networking opportunities to nurses at every level of their careers. If you are a nurse and not yet a member of NCNA, I encourage you to join us in leading Nursing Forward®. 

Even before the coronavirus crisis, the World Health Organization had declared 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, in recognition of Florence Nightingale, who was born exactly 200 years ago this May 12. Nightingale made her mark on the world by caring for patients under extraordinary circumstances. Two centuries later, nurses are honoring her legacy in ways none of us could have foreseen. I am grateful to each of my nursing colleagues and encourage you to join me in thanking nurses across the state for choosing this profession.

Nurses Week Resources

Go here to watch our series of “Happy Nurses Week” videos – more coming soon!

Go here to read Governor Cooper’s North Carolina Nurses Week proclamation.

Go here to add our Nurses Week frame to your Facebook profile picture.

Go here to download our Nurses Week background for your Zoom meetings.

Go here to register for our Nurses Week virtual networking event on Friday.