Carolyn Millevoi, RN, CPAN, a nurse at Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, N.J., remembers when the first Nurses Day proclamation was signed by the governor in 1978, designating May 6 as Nurses Day in New Jersey.
It was shortly after Edwin Scanlan of Red Bank traveled the world in the 1970s to perform magic acts for sick children. After witnessing the dedication of nurses at Riverview Medical Center, Scanlan urged Gov. Brendan Byrne to proclaim Nurses Day in New Jersey.
A nurse at Riverview for 40 years, Millevoi has worked in the PACU for the past 30 years. Since that first proclamation, we now have Nurses Week celebrations, where we have a number of events, including a Nurse Excellence program and a CEU program called Nurses Caring for Nurses, Millevoi says.Carolyn Millevoi, RN
Over the years Millevoi has seen changes in the profession, as well. We are now empowered to act as patient advocates and because of additions like the Nursing Council, the Professional Practice Council and nurses being certified in their specialties, we are educated and empowered to make a difference in our facility and the profession, Millevoi says.
Scanlan also was instrumental in getting President Ronald Regan to sign the Nurses Day proclamation in 1982, which resulted in nationwide celebrations during Nurses Week.