Nurses Week May 6-12, 2013 – Nursing: A Leading Force for Change

This year’s theme for Nursing Week, “Nursing: A Leading Force for Change,” celebrates the role of nurses at the forefront of creating change in the quality of health care.

In 1971, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) designated May 12 – Florence Nightingale’s birthday – as International Nurses Day. In 1985, in recognition of the dedication and achievements of the nursing profession, the Canadian Minister of Health proclaimed the second week of May as National Nursing Week in Canada.

Nightingale was known around the world as the “Lady with the Lamp” who nursed British soldiers during the Crimean War and turned nursing into a profession. But she was also much more than that: she was an activist, social theorist and author whose advocacy to improve health and sanitation for British Army soldiers and whose research on hospital planning and organization laid the foundation for nursing’s emphasis on social determinants of health today. She published more than 200 books, reports and pamphlets.

Nursing Week gives nurses across the world the chance to celebrate the work they do to keep Nightingale’s work alive by advocating for policies that keep people healthy and caring for them when they are ill.

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. As nurses, we work in emergency rooms, school-based clinics, and homeless shelters, to name a few. We have many roles – from staff nurse and educator to nurse practitioner and nurse researcher – and serve all of them with passion for the profession and with a strong commitment to patient safety.

We believe this is a time to recognize the year-round dedication and achievements of Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Nurse Practitioners (NPs), and to increase awareness of your contributions to the well-being of Nova Scotians.

Nursing is not only a job, but a way of life. Thank you for your commitment every day.

Happy National Nurses week from NSGEU and the Provincial Nurses Council!

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