May 7, 2012
KCH Celebrates National Nurse's Week

National Nurse’s Week is celebrated each year from May 6, National Nurse Day,  through May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale.  Nightingale is considered the founder of modern nursing.  

"Traditionally, National Nurse's Week is devoted to highlighting the diverse ways in which registered nurses, the largest health care profession, are working to improve healthcare.  It raises awareness of the value of nursing and helps educate the public about the role nurses play in meeting the health care needs of the American public.  It recognizes nurses everywhere for the quality work they provide 7 days a week, 365 days a year," noted Pam Bray, RN and Director of Nursing at Kane Community Hospital, an affiliate of UPMC Hamot.  "The theme chosen this year for Nurse’s Week is 'Nurses: Advocating, Leading, Caring.'"

There are nearly 3.1 million registered nurses in the United States.   Approximately 2.6 million are employed in the nursing field, with 62.2% employed in hospitals. According to the latest projections released from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Registered Nursing was the occupation that would experience the largest absolute increase in the number of jobs in the years 2008 through 2018.  They are predicting an increase of 22%.  In addition, there are also 752 thousand licensed practical & vocational nurses.

"Often described as an art and a science, nursing is a profession that embraces dedicated people with varied interests, strengths and passions because of the many opportunities the profession offers," Bray said. "This year the focus is the protection, promotion and optimization of health abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities and populations."

Nurses have many roles----from staff nurse to educator to nurse practitioner and nurse researcher----and all serve with a passion for the profession and with a strong commitment to patient safety.
             
Today’s nurses must have the strength to care for patients during times of disaster and crisis; the commitment to remain involved in continuing education throughout their careers; and the compassion to provide hands-on patient care at the bedside—as they have done throughout the centuries.   
           
Nurses are found in many areas of healthcare….hospitals, surgical centers,  long term care, personal care homes, physician offices, public health systems, and in occupational medicine.  Many have furthered their education and established themselves in advanced roles of certified nurse anesthetists or nurse practitioners.  Some are involved in research.  Opportunities in the nursing field are many, and many more nurses are needed.

"As Director of Nursing at Kane Community Hospital, I would like to publicly recognize our nurses for the important role they play in the lives of so many. To the nurses who work in our physician offices, our occupational Medicine Nurse, those who work in Care Management, those employed in our Cardiopulmonary Lab, those in Pain Management, those in our Surgical Services, those who care for our patients in the Emergency Room, and our Acute Care Unit, those who hold leadership positions, and our Home Health nurses who provide care to patients in their home," said Bray.  

"My sincere appreciation goes out to all our nurses, not just during this week, but throughout the year.  Each of them is a unique, skilled and caring individual whose kindness, dedication and love of nursing is portrayed in the quality care they give to their patients. As we celebrate National Nurse's Week, I hope all nurses will take the time to reflect on how rewarding a nursing career can be, and to share their passion for nursing with others.  This week is an opportunity to take stock, and take pride in what you accomplish as nurses, and hopefully to inspire others to choose this challenging and fulfilling profession." 

Pam Bray, RN, Director of Nursing and Inpatient Services hosts an annual 24-hour reception on May 9 with homemade treats and raffles.

Mary Parana, RN, Assistant Director of Nursing and Director of Outpatient Services and Clinics Manager Deborah Lehman, KCH Clinics Manager and are recognizing outpatient community and specialty clinic nurses, home health nurses with a token of appreciation to symbolize what nursing gives to patients and families.