Importance of nursing
National Nursing Week offers an opportunity to reflect on how important nurses are in the daily lives of Canadians.
Every day, nurses provide expertise in quality health care by supporting patients in their diagnoses and treatments and by promoting healthy lifestyles in communities across the country. In fact, with more than 406,000 regulated nurses in Canada, they really are the backbone of our universal health-care system. If we consider our rapidly aging population, the nursing role is more important than ever, and its significance will only continue to grow in the years ahead.
In 1971, the International Council of Nurses designated May 12 International Nurses Day. The date was chosen to coincide with the birth of Florence Nightingale, the internationally recognized founder and pioneer of modern nursing. In 1985, to mark the dedication and achievements of the nursing profession in Canada, the federal minister of health proclaimed the second week of May National Nursing Week.
And there is a lot to acknowledge. Nurses do more than support patients and families when they fall ill and have go to the hospital. They provide care in a variety of settings and they also work hard to develop healthy public policies, conduct research to advance the delivery of care and teach clinical practice to nursing students — and these are just a few examples.
As Canadians come together to celebrate nurses this week, you might take a moment to reflect on the nurses who have positively affected you or someone you know and the demanding work they do for all of us every day. Perhaps you know of a nurse like Marj McNeil. She’s the co-ordinator for the Living with Cancer program at Hospice Calgary’s Sage Centre. Her goal is to reduce isolation for people in her advanced cancer support group. Or maybe it’s a nurse like Shelley Francis, a diabetes community consultant in New Brunswick. Francis helps members of First Nations communities learn culturally safe techniques to manage diabetes.
There are so many stories across of the country. Visit the Canadian Nurses Association website as it highlights events going on across the country in celebration of National Nursing Week.
Follow the association on Twitter or Facebook. Use the #NNW2016 hashtag to share the positive impact a nurse has had on the health and wellness of you and your family. Let the association know how you think nurses contribute to a better healthcare system and high-quality care for all Canadians.