Nurses are treasured people, most people think; the Florence Nightingales of hospitals and medical offices everywhere, and they are being celebrated in Canada this week.
The theme of Nursing Week is Nursing: You Can't Live Without It! While promotionals mention the value of nurses, the public believes in them too.
This is what nurses in Canada say about their organization, the Canadian Nurses Association, and why they believe their work is important.
"People from all walks of life are amazed at the myriad contributions that nurses make to their well-being, from guiding people through the complexities of the health system, to shaping policy that promotes health and protects populations from disease, to advocating for patient safety and quality of care, to driving important innovations in research," said Kaaren Neufeld, president of the Canadian Nurses Association. "You can depend on nurses to be there with you during ordinary and extraordinary times. And you can bet your life on that."
Canada, according to a recent press release, has more than 250,000 registered nurses. A series of events this week are taking place to honor them. The International Council of Nurses set aside May 12 to honor nurses, choosing that date as it was the 100th anniversary of the death of Florence Nightingale.
Nightingale was born in 1820 into a wealthy family, became a nurse when few women were involved in the military hospitals, then worked for the betterment of the conditions of these hospitals for many years, in direct and supervisory work. She was also a champion of women's rights. Her dedication to nursing made her a legend in the field of nursing in Great Britain where she was applauded as a national heroine.
In 2009, for the seventh consecutive year, nurses were voted the most trusted profession in America with eighty-four percent of Gallup's survey finding Americans believe nurses' honesty and ethical standards are either "high" or "very high."
It seems Canada agrees as it will be feting nurses this week.