Don't forget to thank a nurse!

nurseblog-webWe love nurses. Everyone’s life is touched by a nurse at some point, from helping usher new family members into the world to caring for us in our time of need. This is why we want to encourage everyone to thank a nurse in honor of National Nurses Week (May 6th -12th).


It seems like it would be easy to get official recognition for a holiday to celebrate and appreciate nurses, after all, they work tirelessly to improve the lives those in need. But it took nearly 20 years from the first proposal in 1953 to February of 1974 when President Nixon issued a proclamation making National Nurse week official.


Here are some interesting facts about nursing to give everyone a broader understanding of this noble profession and its rich history.

1732 – Philadelphia opens an almshouse to care for those without any other means of care. Nurses were integral to providing care and running these institutions.


1793 – A yellow fever epidemic sweeps across Philadelphia. While nurses were vital to caring for the ill, this epidemic highlighted the shortage of trained nurses.


1872 – The New England Hospital for Women and Children started a nursing school. It took a year to complete the training. Just one year later three additional schools were opened, highlighting the need for trained nurses.


1900 – The American Journal of Nursing begins publication.


1902 – The first school nurse was appointed in New York city. This was an experiment that turned into standard practice across the nation.


1920 – The army  gives nurses rank, allowing them to be recognized in the hierarchy of the army for the first time. Navy nurses didn’t get this recognition until 1942.


1943 –  Financial aid was established for nurse education.


1956 – Nurses were sent to Vietnam and helped to care for over 304,000 wounded Americans. They also provided care to the 58,812 servicemen that were killed in the conflict.


1986 – North Dakota was the first state to require registered nurses to have a Bachelors and licensed practical nurses to have an Associate degree.


1993 – A Vietnam Women’s Memorial is erected in Washington, DC. in honor of of the 265,000 women that served during the Vietnam war.  As many as 90 percent of these women served as nurses.


1999 – A California law mandate’s a specific nurse-to-patient ratio. This was the first law of its kind and it was fought until 2004, when it was finally allowed to go into effect.


As you can see, nurses have been helping the sick and injured for a long time. So the next time you see a nurse, tell them “Thank you!” for all their hard work and compassion.

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