In 1953, Dorothy Sutherland of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare sent a proposal to President Dwight D. Eisenhower to proclaim a Nurse Day to recognize nurses contributions to healthcare. Today, National Nurses Week is celebrated May 6-12 every year, ending on the birthday of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale. The following are examples of how regional facilities plan to celebrate this annual and memorable occasion.Maria Ducharme, RN
Maria Ducharme, RN, MS, NE-BC, senior VP of patient care services and CNO The Miriam Hospital, Providence, R.I.
Nurses Week at TMH is a celebration of achievements within nursing, as well as identification of issues that support the nurse. The week includes a presentation of an annual award for nursing excellence, a nursing annual report, a poster and podium presentation including a collection of the years nurse-driven work, and a reading of nursing exemplars. The transparency embedded in these exemplars serves to reinforce a culture of safety. This will tie in to our annual nursing symposium, featuring a guest who speaks nationally on the topic of compassion fatigue. At this lecture, the nurses will also be given a journal purchased through the Josie King Foundation, as research has shown that writing about emotional distress has benefits in prevention. We want to recognize our nurses for how much they give while supporting their emotional and physical condition.Anna Oliveira, RN
Anna Oliveira, RN, staff nurse, critical care Hospital of Central Connecticut, New Britain, Conn.
For years, we marked Nurses Week by bringing the celebrations to the nurses, with unit parties, small gifts and other activities, along with a hospital-wide awards ceremony. This year, with the support and encouragement of our new CNE, HCCs Nursing Week Committee decided to bring the nurses to the celebrations. Were opening the Nightingale Cafe, a friendly place where nurses from throughout the organization can socialize, take a break and enjoy some refreshments, served up by nursing leadership. Well also hold an evening celebration with a guest speaker and nursing awards presentation. Often, we get so caught up in our work, we overlook the importance of taking care of ourselves. Nurses Week is a great time to connect with our colleagues, to come together to celebrate our profession and the amazing work we do.Sandra K. Roosa, RN
Sandra K. Roosa, RN, MS, NEA-BC, vice president, patient care services Saint Marys Hospital, Waterbury, Conn.
Saint Marys Hospital will celebrate May 6 with a daylong event based on the theme Nurse as Leader. The celebration, organized by the Professional Nurse Practice Council, will be open to all members of the patient care team, including nurses, nurses aides, clerical coordinators and behavioral health staff. A morning reception is planned with grab and go or hot breakfast options for night staff and breakfast/brunch for day staff. The event will include gifts for each nurse, raffle prizes and a blessing of the hands by Pastoral Care. Dinner will be delivered to the evening shift. In support of this years theme, the Nurse Practice Council will introduce a new proposal to establish unit-based councils called U Too Councils. Each council will provide a forum for nurses to work with staff and unit managers to address the delivery of care on their unit.Sherry Nicholson, RN
Sherry Nicholson, RN, BC, staff nurse, cardiac unit St. Vincents Medical Center, Bridgeport, Conn.
At St. Vincents Medical Center, the Shared Governance Professional Practice Council has the honor of hosting these celebrations during Nurses Week: We have a Cap Wall, on which words of praise and encouragement are written on cap-shaped notecards from peers, visitors and families. Last year approximately 1000 caps were displayed. We promote professional practice by presenting Nursing Excellence Awards for Advancement. Categories for the awards are quality excellence, professional development, clinical research, leadership practice and community practice. We conduct a basket raffle to incorporate the mission, and integrate nursing core values, nursing units are asked to create a gift basket. Raffle proceeds support a community based project. Our project display includes a contest where fifth-graders write stories titled, If I Were a Nurse. Pastoral Care conducts blessing of the hands. Also, nurses wear white on a designated day and evening, Wear White Day/Night.Nurses Week Planning Committee members, from left, Marie Flannery, RNC, MNN; Julie Martineau, RN-BC, BSN; Mary Beth Strauss, RN-BC, MS, director of Magnet and special projects; and Maureen Mulcahy-Paone, RNC.
Nurses Week Planning Committee Winchester Hospital, Woburn, Mass.
Committee members are, from left, Marie Flannery, RNC, MNN; Julie Martineau, RN-BC, BSN; Mary Beth Strauss, RN-BC, MS, director of Magnet and special projects; and Maureen Mulcahy-Paone, RNC.
This is an exciting time because we are beginning our centennial celebration. We will be displaying items and planning activities that help capture our history of nursing at Winchester Hospital. Our goal for the week is for nurses to stop and take the time to care for themselves in a variety of ways. The chair of the planning committee is Mary Beth Strauss, RN-BC, MS, director of Magnet and special projects. All nurses are invited to participate in the group, which meets every other week leading up to the event.