As Nurses Fight on the Frontline Against Coronavirus, Merkley, Wicker Introduce Bipartisan Resolution to Recognize National Nurses Week

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), the co-chairs of the Senate Nursing Caucus, today announced the introduction of a bipartisan Senate resolution designating May 6 to 12, 2020, as National Nurses Week.

As nurses risk their lives treating now more than 1 million coronavirus patients across America in the midst of a global pandemic, the resolution honors the important contributions of America’s nurses to safe, high-quality health care, and the invaluable role that nurses play in patient care and support.

“As the husband of a nurse, I’ve seen close-up how difficult their jobs are and how important they are to patients,” Merkley said. “Mary, like nurses across Oregon and across the country, continues to serve, even with the added stress and fear of coronavirus. Nurses support and advocate for patients at some of the most difficult moments of their lives. This week, let’s all take a moment to appreciate and celebrate the nurses in our communities.”

“Nurses are heroes because of their courage and commitment to care even during extreme circumstances,” Wicker said. “Long before the current pandemic began, nurses in Mississippi and across the country have shown they are willing to risk their own health and safety to help others. Our resolution reflects the gratitude of all Americans for these health-care professionals.”

Nurses represent the single-largest component of the health care professions, with an estimated 4 million registered nurses in the United States. While a huge swath of Americans have followed stay-home orders to help curb the spread of coronavirus, nurses have continued to head to work to care for patients, oftentimes without adequate personal protective equipment or other supplies.

Today’s resolution recognizes the importance of nurses in providing quality care, conducting medical research, tailoring care to each community and individual needs, eliminating public health disparities, promoting healthy lifestyles, and more—especially in an unprecedented time.

The resolution also recognizes the need to strengthen nursing workforce development and education, and calls upon all Americans to recognize National Nurses Week this year.

The resolution is cosponsored by 20 bipartisan colleagues: Senators Tom Udall (D-NM), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Richard Burr (R-NC), Gary Peters (D-MI), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Joe Manchin (D-WV), John Boozman (R-AR), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), John Hoeven (R-ND), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Martha McSally (R-AZ), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and Steve Daines (R-MT).

A copy of the full resolution can be found here.