Nurses Make a Difference

Dr. Sandra A. Russo, RN, Chair of the School of Health Sciences Nursing Program Celebrates Nurses in Nurses Month in the year of the Nurse.

May 01, 2020
American Nurses Association Celebrates Nurses in 2020

There are many reasons to celebrate nurses in 2020. May 12th marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. In 1854, Nightingale observed that more soldiers in the Crimean War had died from sepsis, than from being in battle. In her Notes on Nursing (1860), Nightingale wrote: “Every nurse ought to be careful to wash her hands very frequently during the day.” Her awareness of the importance of hand hygiene, and her implementation of sanitary practices are evident in today’s healthcare standards, and have never been more pertinent than in the current pandemic crisis.

Before COVID-19, World Health Organization (WHO) announced that 2020 would be the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, enveloping Nightingale’s monumental birthday, and the month of May, which is traditionally earmarked as Nurses Month. The year-long recognition of the nursing profession began with a bang, as coronavirus’ spread sent nurses worldwide into a viral war. Fueled with dedication and compassion, and armed with Nightingale’s principles and advancements in modern medicine, nurses bravely step up to the front lines in this ongoing fight with COVID-19.

Their creativity emerges in handcrafted personal protection equipment, where there is none. Their communication skills are honed and in-tune as they comfort those recovering from and succumbing to disease. Their instincts are keen as they protect newborn and mother in the birthing process. Nurses’ fortitude amplifies as emotions are spent. Their knowledge is vast, as they see the virus up-close and personal, soaking up all of its deadly idiosyncrasies like a sponge. Their resilience is remarkable, returning day after day to beat this virus at its own game. Nurses are heroes, sacrificing themselves for the wellbeing of others, for the good of all. And in return, their request is a simple one: “Stay at home, please.”

A new, dynamic appreciation for the nurse is emerging, which warrants celebration, to say the least. Join me in extending special thanks and warm wishes to all nurses, nursing students, and nursing faculty as they continue to fight for and provide the highest level of quality patient care. Their efforts to excel, lead, and innovate daily, deserve special recognition. Nurses make a difference.