nurses hands all-in

2020 International Year of the Nurse and Midwife

Dr. Barbara White, Dean of School of Health Professions and Nursing

How appropriate that the World Health Organization designated 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. They care for people at the beginning of life, at the end of life, and during all phase’s in between. Nurses devote their lives to caring for moms and babies, giving immunizations and health advice, teaching teens and adults how to live healthy lives and how to recover after illness, and lovingly helping patients die with dignity. Nurses care about others and they have the unique opportunity of engaging with the sick and vulnerable physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Through competent care, clinical reasoning, and high-tech interventions, nurses care. Through touch, a smile, a moment of listening, a word of encouragement, or the ministry of presence, nurses bring hope to a hurting world.

May 12 is International Nurses Day, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, who was born two hundred years ago on May 12, 1820. Considered to be the founder of modern nursing. She was a trailblazing figure in nursing who greatly affected 19th and 20th-century policies for proper medical care. She was known for her night rounds to aid the wounded in the Crimean War, establishing her image as the "Lady with the Lamp."  Her Nightingale Home and Training School for Nurses in England formalized nursing education and her basic concepts regarding nursing remain applicable today.

Now, more than ever at this chaotic time, nurses are critical in the care of patients with COVID-19.  Nurses are on the frontlines of the worst pandemic in modern history, working long exhausting hours, sacrificing and caring for those in greatest need, and experiencing grief on a daily basis. They do this because this is what they are called to do. They know in their heart and soul, that they cannot do anything else. According to WHO, the world needs 9 million more nurses and midwives if it is to achieve universal health coverage by 2030.

This week, say "thank you" to someone you know who is a nurse. Thank God for nurses! Cheer them on!
"A cheerful heart is good medicine."
– Proverbs 17:22

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