Honoring Our Nation’s Nurses – The Forefront, Frontline, and Foundation of Our Health Care System in the United States

Each year, beginning on May 6th we initiate the process of celebrating National Nurses Week through the date of May 12th. This has been an established and highly recognized event since the year of 1998; however, this year – 2020 – this celebration takes on a whole new meaning.

Amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, this event is not just about celebrating a position in the health care system. It is about celebrating the heroes of our health care system. Our nurses are the forefront.

These professionals are more than just academically-inclined experts. They are passionate individuals striving to save the lives of their patients on a daily basis, while risking their own.

Despite Cancellations, Appreciation at an All-Time High

The coronavirus pandemic, the heightened risks associated with the pandemic, and the social distancing guidelines in place throughout the country has resulted in a slew of cancellations of special events that typically take place during National Nurses Week; however, the appreciation for these professionals is at an all-time high.

Our nation sees these health care professionals as heroic and selfless. Many patients who have become infected with the coronavirus owe their lives to the tireless work and dedication of our nurses.

Those who have passed away as a result of the complications of the virus, have done so with nurses by their side, holding their hand, and even providing other comfort measures – such as allowing them to see or speak to their families through online venues, singing a comforting song, or saying a prayer. Nurses are guided – not by the stethoscope alone, but by their passion, and their hearts.

Compassionate Care – A Way of Life

Nurses are individuals who are naturally “wired” for compassionate care. Nursing is not merely a “a job” or a means to obtain a paycheck. It is their passion. The compassionate care provided by these professionals is a way of life.

It is a physically demanding and emotionally tolling position; however, each nurse finds their “reward” in the serving of others. Each patient serves as their “purpose”. They do not compartmentalize the care that they provide.

They know and understand that the compassionate care that each of their patients receives is at the “core” of who they are – as a person, not a professional. They understand that it is their job to heal, to comfort, and to prepare – not just those patients to whom they are directly responsible, but also to the loved ones associated with each patient.

Shining Lights in Dark Moments

Nurses cultivate a sense of care and compassion by practicing active listening, by attending to the needs of their patients, and by assisting those who are battling injuries and illnesses that are beyond their control. Essentially, the nurses are the shining lights in the darkest moments of people’s lives – be it the patient, their loved ones, and even the doctors with whom they work.

To the nurses, each of the patients that they care for are THEIR shining lights. As we celebrate this year’s National Nurses Week, we must celebrate these wonderful professionals for what they are – beacons of light in the midst of darkness, selfless professionals willing to risk their own lives to save the lives of others, and experts who view each person that they work with as the most important individual in the world in that moment, in that time…

It is then that we truly celebrate our nurses at the core of who they are and what they stand for in today’s world. It is then that we honor them as the forefront, frontline, and foundation of our health care system. It is then that we see them for the heroes that they are and that their life work is truly recognized.

Thank You, Nurses….

To all of our nurses, we thank you for your work. We thank you for your service. We thank you for your tireless dedication and your commitment to each of us.

We thank you for your selfless efforts. Your risk is our reward…we know and understand that. Despite it all, you continue to help us and hold this nation up in one of the most difficult of times. We recognize that your sacrifice is our gain.

Your care and compassion do not go unnoticed. Your work, your efforts, your care, your passion…all of these contribute to the heartbeat of the world, as a whole. Thank you, nurses. We appreciate you. We care for you.

We uphold and honor you as our heroes….

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