During National Nurses Week, Nurses Who Vaccinate would like to extend a special thanks to you, our nurses, as you continue to step forward in embracing new technologies, resolving emerging issues, and adapting to the changing roles in your profession. You deserve special recognition for your efforts in leading the way for your patients, your colleagues, and organizations within the health care industry.
From Tuesday May 6, 2014 until Monday May 12, 2014, the entire nation comes together to shed light on the importance, dedication, hardwork and passion which more than 3.1 million nurses bring to healthcare in America. Since 1954, The American Nurses Association (ANA) has hosted Nurse’s Week celebrations, choosing to end the week on May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday.
Nurse’s Week celebrations at hospitals often include free lunches, pampering sessions with massages and manicures, and educational opportunities for nurses to continually expand their knowledge base. The ANA posts an annual statement with suggestions on how nurses can choose to celebrate Nurse’s Week. The first item on their list is advocacy.
Nurses are empowered every day to advocate for their patients and their families, but during Nurse’s Week, we have a unique position in the national spotlight to spark conversation about important public health issues. One of the most important things we can do as nurses to support public health and honor the ANA initiative towards advocacy is to support vaccinations.
Vaccines are perhaps the single most important facet of public health as they prevent painful sickness and death for millions of people every day. As world travel increases, diseases which were once endemic in the far corners of the world can now land right in our backyards in a matter of days. Vaccines are not only important but are necessary in maintaining a healthy nation and a healthy world.
Being a member of Nurses Who Vaccinate is an important first step in supporting public health and vaccinations, but there are many more ways in which nurses can promote public health and wellness. Nurses who provide direct bedside care can support vaccinations and public health each and every day by talking to patients and their families about vaccines and explaining the importance of protecting ourselves and our loved ones. Student nurses, registered nurses and any supporters of healthcare can also get involved in public health initiatives by talking to local politicians and asking them to support any bills which promote vaccinations. Writing to a local newspaper and asking them to highlight the important role nurses play in public health by supporting vaccinations can educate the public on the important work nurses do each and every day in preventing public health outbreaks and promoting community health wellness.
Recognize that your role as a nurse isn’t just at the bedside, but that each and every one of us is a community health nurse responsible for the health of our nation! Support public health through vaccine promotion each and every day, but especially during Nurse’s Week!
Happy Nurse’s Week, nurses! Thank you for all of the important work you do!
Be sure to follow the International Council of Nurses for 2014 Live webcast: the key role of nurses in vaccination decision making, on May 12th with Nurses Who Vaccinate - hosted by Connecting Nurses.
Official link- http://www.connecting-nurses.com/web/key-role-nurses-in-vaccination-decision-making
Angela Quinn is a registered nurse in New York City. She is passionate about public health, patient safety and patient education. Angela volunteers with organizations like Nurses who Vaccinate to contribute positively to the world of nursing.