Washington, DC – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released a statement Tuesday honoring nurses across America in recognition of National Nurses Week, which runs annually from May 6-12. Merkley is co-chair of the Senate Nursing Caucus:
“Nurses are the hands, feet, and heart of our health care system – expertly administering tests and medication and keeping hospitals and clinics moving, all the while providing empathy and comfort to their patients.
“My wife, Mary, is a nurse and she shares with me the daily struggles and successes that come with the job. It is important to take a week to recognize the hard work and contributions of these medical professionals who strive to provide quality care every day of the year, but it is also important to recognize the challenges the nursing profession faces.
“One of the greatest challenges facing our health care system is a nationwide shortage of nurses. This shortage will increase as more Americans have health coverage and more nurses reach retirement age. To encourage talented individuals to enter the field and grow the profession, we must ensure access to affordable education opportunities. As a co-chair of the Senate Nursing Caucus, I will continue working with my colleagues to address issues affecting the nursing community and to recognize and advance the important role of nurses in the delivery of high quality health care.”
National Nurses Week begins annually on May 6th and ends on May 12th, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, known as the pioneer of modern nursing. National Nurses Week recognizes the integral role nurses play in promoting public health and highlights the work nurses are doing to improve health care. Today, there are nearly three million registered nurses across the United States.