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National Nurses Week: A salute to nurses at the forefront of COVID-19 fight

As a nurse no longer at the bedside, I am in awe of the critical role that nurses everywhere are playing at the frontline of a world health crisis. We could not do this without these heroes.

National Nurses Week and International Nurses Day, May 6 – 12, raises awareness of the value of nursing and helps educate about the role nurses play in meeting healthcare needs. This year it is even more special as the World Health Organization recognizes 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse” to elevate and celebrate the essential, robust contributions of nurses.

Recognizing the critical contributions nurses play in achieving health for all

Nursing is the largest group of healthcare professionals in the U.S. playing a vital role in providing health services. During the global pandemic, they have become the heroes caring for patients who are severely ill. Often spending the most amount of time with patients, nurses tend to all patient needs, including drawing blood, obtaining samples, providing oxygen and more. We can only imagine how much this work has increased with intensely sick COVID-19 patients.

With tens of thousands of deaths in the U.S. due to coronavirus, nurses are the ones at the patient’s bedside making sure they have as much comfort as possible. I have been hearing about nurses who help patients Facetime with families before they are intubated. Nurses are holding patients’ hands as they experience their final moments without their families being present.

Nursing is an art and a science

Providing support to patients and their families is an art. Nursing and caring are grounded in a relational understanding, unity and connection between the professional nurse and the patient.

Nursing involves the application of science through theoretical concepts and scientific research. Nurses translate new evidence and research into practical application with patients. Technology plays an important role in enabling efficient workflows and best care practices. More than ever, nurses must rely on critical thinking to bridge the art and science together and make informed decisions.

The skill and commitment of nurses during the COVID-19 public health emergency make lifesaving differences every day. Thank you to all nurses who are working on the frontlines.

Join us in saluting all the nurses on the forefront of this crisis and transforming healthcare for good.

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