Modern healthcare wouldn’t look the same without nurses, and this month we are celebrating all their contributions! May is the annual Nurse’s Month, which grew out of Nurse’s Week that was celebrated around the birthday of Florence Nightingale, who is largely credited for elevating nursing’s reputation into a legitimate profession in the 1850s. It now encapsulates the entire month of May, as more and more people realize the importance of nurses in our healthcare system!
Beginnings of Nursing as a Profession
Though Florence Nightingale is often the person most credited with bringing nursing into a professional sphere, she was not the first to recognize the need for trained health workers that would work alongside doctors to fulfill patient care. For much of human history, healthcare of sick and injured individuals fell to the responsibility of their family and neighbors. As doctors and hospitals became more commonplace and scientific research advanced, they developed more specialized treatments, requiring highly trained individuals to carry out their recovery plans.
Nurses became a necessity for around-the-clock care these patients needed.
While nursing methods were variable at first, Nightingale and her contemporaries established schools throughout the world that standardized their practices and improved the quality of care that all hospitals and doctors offices could provide. By establishing a solid foundation of nursing education, Nightingale and other teachers paved the way for the nurses of today to help us stay healthy.
Nurses have been present through major historical events, world wars, births of generations of children, and most recently, through the global pandemic of Covid-19. In much the same way that nurses were a key part of the strategy that won world wars, they have been instrumental in efforts to keep people healthy through this difficult year. They have risked their lives just to give comfort to those who are isolated in Covid wards of hospitals, and volunteered to issue the vaccines that will help end the pandemic. Collaborating with doctors and other healthcare workers, they have shown their strength and professionalism throughout this tumultuous time.
Celebrate Nurse’s Month with themed weeks
Though their work ethic is always deserving of praise, this year’s Nurse’s Month is especially poignant as we work to end the pandemic together. Each week of this month has a different theme that you can use to give you ideas for how to recognize the nurses in your life.
Week one: Self Care: Treat a nurse you know to a relaxing night with their favorite foods
Week two: Recognition: Write a public thank you letter to the nurses in your community for everything they do to care for us.
Week three: Professional Development: Support nurses and healthcare workers in their efforts to stay ahead of the latest research and methods. If you know of a nurse studying for a new certification or taking a class on a new treatment, take them a hot dinner to ease up their meal prep work at home.
Week four: Community Engagement: Share about the great work that nurses do with your community. Look into volunteering with a healthcare facility to learn about what they do and what their day-to-day life is like.
If you’re curious about the impact that nurses have on the Nutrien community, employees and their families, this month we’ve featured two nurses who are part of the Nutrien Family. Learn more about Sheri Larsen and Michele Thompson under the Nutrien Family Tab for May!