Members of Congress Reintroduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Resolution Celebrating National Nurses Week

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) teamed up with U.S. Representatives Dave Joyce (R-OH-14), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-01), Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14), and Jen Kiggans (R-VA-02) to introduce a bipartisan, bicameral resolution recognizing National Nurses Week. National Nurses Week 2024 is celebrated from May 6th through May 12th.

The resolution honors and celebrates the important contributions of America’s nurses to safe, high-quality care and the invaluable role that nurses play in patient care every day. The resolution also highlights the extra care nurses provide in treating injured and sick patients during wartime, natural disasters, and public health emergencies.

“As the husband of a nurse, I’ve seen close-up how difficult nurses’ jobs are and how important they are to patients,” said Senator Merkley, Co-Chair of the Senate Nursing Caucus. “In every corner of Oregon and throughout the nation, nurses offer vital care, support, and advocacy to patients and their families during challenging times. Let’s pause this week to express gratitude and honor the nurses in our communities for their unwavering commitment and compassion. We must remain dedicated to providing them with the support necessary to continue their life-saving work.”

“This resolution honors nurses for a special week of recognition, but they are loved by Americans year round. We need more of them. Call your favorite nurse today,” said Senator Wicker, Co-Chair of the Senate Nursing Caucus.

“As the proud husband of a nurse, I’ve seen the dedication and compassion nurses provide for their patients firsthand,” said Congressman Joyce, Co-Chair of the Congressional Nursing Caucus. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in celebrating National Nurses Week and ask everyone in Ohio to join me in thanking the health care heroes in our communities for all that they have done and continue to do.”

“Our health care system relies on the tireless service nurses provide every day, and I am grateful to everyone who works in this essential profession,” said Congresswoman Bonamici, Co-Chair of the Congressional Nursing Caucus. “As Co-Chair of the Congressional Nursing Caucus, I’ll continue our work to provide nurses with the support they need and help more people enter the field.”

“I am thrilled to introduce this resolution and recognize nurses for their incredible commitment, care and contributions to our communities,” said Congresswoman Underwood, Vice Chair of the Congressional Nursing Caucus.  “Every day, across the country, nurses are providing high-quality clinical care, engaging in policy advocacy, and leading in their communities. National Nurses Week is an opportunity to show our thanks and recognition, and I look forward to continuing my work to support nurses at every stage of our education, training, and careers.”

“I appreciate all that nurses do to keep our country healthy,” said Congresswoman Kiggans, Vice Chair of the Congressional Nursing Caucus. “As a geriatric nurse practitioner, I had the honor of caring for our Greatest Generation alongside many dedicated nurses. Their selfless commitment to caring for those who need it most deserves to be celebrated. I am proud to recognize National Nurses Week and will continue to be a loud advocate for our nurses while I serve in Congress!”

As of 2024, there are more than 4.7 million registered nurses in the United States. However, despite this substantial number, our nursing sector faces pressing challenges including a continuing shortage of nurses, burnout, and other mental health struggles and the need for safer working conditions. According to a research project from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, about 100,000 registered nurses left the workforce in 2021 and 2022 due to stress, burnout, and retirement. This same research also outlined that by 2027, almost 900,000 registered nurses intend to leave the workforce.

Today’s resolution is a timely acknowledgment of the indispensable role nurses play in delivering quality care, advancing medical research, tailoring services to diverse communities and individuals, addressing public health disparities, promoting healthy behaviors, and much more. We encourage Americans to recognize and celebrate National Nurses Week this year, and to support our nursing workforce today and every day.

In addition to Merkley and Wicker, this resolution is also cosponsored by Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory A. Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Steve Daines (R-MT), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Peter Welch (D-VT).

Full text of the resolution can be found here.