By: By Brian Willhide, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
This week marks the 18th annual celebration of National Nurses Week, during which nurses in all roles are honored for their commitment to the medical profession.
From emergency rooms to clinics across the country, staff nurses, educators, nurse practitioners and researchers not only serve patients suffering from a variety of illnesses and injuries but also mentor the next generation of student nurses coming up through the ranks.
Beginning in 1994, National Nurses Week has been celebrated from May 6 through May 12, coinciding with the birthday of Florence Nightingale, who is considered to be the founder of modern nursing.
Nightingale was an English nurse whose most notable contributions to the field took place while helping deathly ill British soldiers during the Crimean War of the 1850s.
This week is a chance to carry on the work Nightingale accomplished and celebrate the highly-skilled work nurses provide, according to Cindy Gohner, vice president of clinical services with Jamestown Regional Medical Center.
“Nurses are highly dedicated and caring individuals that have impacted most everyone at some time during their life,” she said.
Nurses each day complete work behind the scenes that isn’t necessarily recognized, but that can be part of the lure of the profession, said Marcia Bollingberg, director of nursing at Central Valley Health District.
“That may be part of the reason people go into nursing — just knowing they’re helping people directly or indirectly is enough for many nurses,” she said.
According to a 2011 Gallup poll, nursing was rated the most trusted profession out of 21 professions tested including doctors, teachers and clergy.
Perhaps that trust comes from building positive relationships with patients, which Bollingberg said is one of the most rewarding aspects of the job.
“Especially in our agency here, we see patients for great lengths of time and there’s something special about that relationship you develop with a patient over that time,” she said.
There are about 3 million licensed registered nurses in the United States, one-third of which hold bachelor’s degrees and one-fifth of which hold an additional academic degree beyond a bachelor’s, all according to the American Nurses Association and American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
“Please take this week to recognize a nurse that has touched your life or the life of maybe a member of your family,” Gohner said.
For more information about the American Nurses Association and National Nurses Week, visit http://www.nursingworld.org.
Sun reporter Brian Willhide can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at email@example.com
Originally posted in The Jamestown Sun 05/08/12