May 6, 2020
Today is National Nurses Day, a time to recognize and celebrate the profoundly important role of nurses in healthcare. Yet this Nurses Day is different. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the heroic work of nurses has never been clearer.
IHA and our member hospitals and health systems honor Illinois nurses for their compassion, dedication and unyielding efforts to care for patients in this unprecedented public health crisis.
“We are grateful for and humbled by the nurses who are fighting to save lives,” said IHA President and CEO A.J. Wilhelmi. “Nurses are essential to patients and healthcare teams every day. During this pandemic, we have seen nurses go above and beyond by providing comfort and spending extra time with COVID-19 patients who must be isolated from their families.”
As part of IHA’s “Going the Distance” campaign, nurses are featured in several stories on our Healthcare Heroes webpage.
National Nurses Day kicks off National Nurses Week, which culminates on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, who founded modern nursing at the end of the 19th century. With echoes of today, Nightingale’s strict hand washing and hygiene while caring for British soldiers during the Crimean War reduced their mortality rate from 42% to 2%.
Among the nearly 3 million nurses across the U.S., Illinois counts 183,000 registered nurses providing direct patient or serving in leadership roles. Please join IHA in saluting Illinois’ nurses today and throughout National Nurses Week. You can share your appreciation on IHA’s Twitter page using #NationalNursesWeek.
For National Nurses Week and National Hospital Week, which begins May 10, IHA will release a video highlighting the work of nurses and hospitals in the fight against COVID-19.