This week — May 6-12 — marks National Nurses Week, a time to honor, celebrate, and elevate nurses. Throughout the week, hospitals across the state will be honoring and thanking the nurses who help us provide care to Californians who need it.
California’s nursing workforce is the largest in the country — more than 290,000 strong. To the women and men who have chosen nursing as a profession: CHA salutes the expertise, professionalism, and compassion you bring, 24/7, to the people we have the privilege to care for in our hospitals and in our communities.
To California’s nurses: not only do you heal the patients you care for with great technical prowess and knowledge, but you do so with caring and empathy. You are the ones who alleviate suffering and skillfully advocate for patients’ best interests. And if that’s not enough, you are there, caring, in every neighborhood our diverse state has to offer. You touch our communities in countless ways — vaccinating children at local schools; visiting churches and businesses to make vital health screenings available to those who wouldn’t otherwise get them; caring for homeless people, without judgement, in the streets where they live.
Nurses are our pillars of strength and providers of care.
One hundred years after Florence Nightingale’s mission to train nurses and organize care for wounded soldiers in the Crimean War, Congress saw its first proposal for a week designated to honor nurses. It took another nearly 40 years for the law to be enacted, and I for one am grateful that we set aside the time each year to reflect on all the ways that nurses make our world a better place.