National Nurses' Week ~ Thank You Nurses!

It’s National Nurses’ Week! And like a lot of people across the nation who are touched and saved by the contributions of 3.1 million registered nurses, we want to say a simple THANK YOU.

Your work is not easy. You must have compassion and endurance to be there in the middle of the night, when your patient is struggling with pain. You must have patience and courage to fight that bureaucratic red tape that’s delaying your patient’s medications from the hospital pharmacy.

You must have the composure, medical knowledge, and technical skill to insert that central line into the distressed ER patient who needs medication. You must have an endless supply of “knock knock” jokes to comfort that frightened child.
Registered nurses are advocates above all else, whether as a patient advocate at the bedside or as a social advocate promoting an equitable healthcare system for all.

As the largest RN organization and union in the nation, National Nurses United is here to help RNs fulfill that role. We represent 170,000 registered nurses fighting to have the contributions and collective voices of nurses respected. We hear from our nurses every day that they are often the last line of defense for patient care in a system controlled by corporate interests.

That’s why this Nurses’ Week, NNU will not be sending out carnation bouquets, boxes of chocolates, coffee mugs, or stuffed teddy bears.

Instead, we continue to fight for what RNs really want: R-E-S-P-E-C-T. 

Respect is a healthcare system where nurses can care for patients to their best and highest potential.

Respect is safe staffing ratio laws and a healthcare system based on need and not the size of a person’s wallet.

Respect is quality healthcare and retirement for nurses and their families.

Respect is enacting a Robin Hood tax on Wall Street to help fund all this and more to provide a just economy for all Americans.

How can you help? What is the best way to thank a nurse in your life? We have a few ideas.

You could thank a nurse by joining thousands of us on the streets of Chicago on May 18th as we march to call for a tax on Wall Street to fund Main Street. If you can’t make it to Chicago, you could thank nurses by watching a webcast of the event and sending an encouraging note.

You could get involved in the struggle to expand Medicare to everyone. You can take action now by sharing a story of how guaranteed healthcare could have helped improve the health of you or a loved one. Tell your story here.

Go to the Friend a Nurse Facebook page and send “Thank you” gifts to nurses. You could give a nurse a small, virtual token of your appreciation. Here is a link to Gift a Nurse – a free Facebook app

Download the original tribute song to nurses written by singer songwriter, and NNU’s online communications specialist, Colette Washington.

Get the original nurse tribute song “Angel at My Side” FREE, written by singer/songwriter, and NNU communications specialist, Colette Washington.

I just want to thank you for fighting for my life
I just want to thank you for standing up for human rights
I just want to thank you for all the tears you've dried
Most of all I want to thank you for being the angel at my side

So this week, forget the donuts and, instead, give registered nurses the real support they want and need— a real collective voice in the fight for safer patient care.