Thursday September 18th 2014

Thank you, RNs! 2013 National Nurses Week May 6-12

A resounding “thank you” to nurses could be heard across the country—on the air waves, from the halls of Congress, and in health care settings everywhere — as RNs were recognized for the myriad ways they are “Delivering quality and innovation in patient care,” ANA’s theme for 2013 National Nurses Week.

To highlight the nation’s most trusted health care professionals, ANA promoted activities to recognize RNs and their contributions during National Nurses week, celebrated May 6 through May 12, which is the birthday of Florence Nightingale.

ANA President Karen A. Daley, PhD, RN, FAAN, authored an introduction to a “Nurse Appreciation,” editorial supplement distributed through USA Today in several metropolitan markets during the celebratory week. She encouraged RNs to use their knowledge, skills and experience to innovate and improve quality. “We have strength and influence,” Daley wrote. “Let’s use those assets to improve health for every patient — and our nation.”

In additional media coverage, featured an interview with Daley, The Best Ways to Thank and Honor Nurses” and nurses and nursing students from New York, Kansas and Los Angeles helped MSNBC’s Chuck Todd celebrate the week in his Rundown report.

Nurses from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD, celebrated National Nurses Week at a local restaurant, as well as receiving a 96 percent patient satisfaction rating for their medical-surgical unit. From left: Doris Neny; Amelia Belizaile; Neysa Ernst, president, Maryland Nurses Association; Patricia Travis, American Nurses Association Board of Directors; and Rebecca Kunnes.

Tributes and Recognitions

On the Hill, members of Congress honored nurses on the House floor.  Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), David Joyce (R-OH) and Lois Capps (D-CA) introduced H. R. 201 to commemorate National Nurses Week. Rep. Rodney Jackson (R-IL), whose wife is a nurse, gave a one-minute speech in honor of National Nurses Week.  Additionally, ANA applauded the introduction of the “Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act of 2013,” federal legislation that would empower RNs to drive staffing decisions in hospitals and, consequently, protect patients and improve the quality of care. As well, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recognized nurses in a statement that conveyed the Obama administration’s support for nursing workforce development and training.

Nurse leaders Daley, ANA CEO Marla Weston, PhD, RN, FAAN, and American Nurses Credentialing Center Executive Director Karen Drenkard, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, were among nurses who made the ballot for Modern Healthcare’s “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” list.  ANA encourages nurses to vote for nurses through June 14.

In a gift to nurses, ANA sponsored a free CE National Nurses Week Webinar, Innovation in Nursing Practice: Are You Leading the Charge? More than 3,500 nurses attended. (See side story.) ANA’s offered savings on “Poems from the Heart of Nursing,” edited by Teresa Stone, BSN, RNC, PRP, CP, a diverse collection of poems first published in the American Journal of Nursing, to celebrate Florence Nightingale and other extraordinary nurses. Other ongoing opportunities to recognize nurses were through gifts to the American Nurses Foundation’s “honor a nurse program at

Social Media Dialogue

In social media, ANA’s Facebook page and Twitter feed were a hub where RNs participated in discussions on celebrations, quality and innovation, and HealthyNurseTM initiatives, among others.  ANA members commented on ways they or their employers contribute to care quality — through falls prevention, controlling infection and other measures–and considered what innovations would most surprise Florence Nightingale — such as patient lifts, hand sanitizer and scanning of medications at the bedside.

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