But there’s another Nurse Florence I want to share with you today. She also served in the military – World War II – and retired from Skagit Valley Hospital in 1981, the year I was born. A beautiful Japanese Maple was given to her as a retirement gift. Thirty-eight years later, this tree flourishes in my front yard.
While she may not boast the same accolades as the esteemed “Lady With the Lamp,” in my view, she deserves recognition this National Nurse’s Week, amidst the global celebration for Year of the Nurse.
This year’s even better. Every single one of the 366 days in 2020, dedicated to us! (Yep, it’s a leap year!)
In honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the World Health Organization (WHO) has deemed 2020:
THE YEAR OF THE NURSE
I might be a tad biased, but if anyone deserves a whole year of devotion, it’s me and my nurse peeps.
#YON2020 isn’t just an excuse to eat birthday cake with Nurse Flo’s name on it. The WHO intends to advance nurses’ vital position in transforming healthcare around the world.
Nurses and midwives play a vital role in providing health services…They are often, the first and only point of care in their communities. The world needs 9 million more nurses and midwives if it is to achieve universal health coverage by 2030.
I’m on board with boosting legislation that results in Universal Health Care, but my agenda is a little different; I’m concerned with the health of nurses themselves.
So when I first heard the phrase “Year of the Nurse” this is what (and who) came to my mind:
Critical Care colleagues physically exhausted, facing moral distress
Colleagues in recovery fighting to keep their license, sobriety and lives intact
Nursing students who are ill-prepared for the sacrifice their careers will demand
I thought of the secret shame so many of us harbor, overwhelmed with life and work but desperate to keep anyone from thinking we’re weak. We even hide from our coworkers, despite our shared experience which could foster deep connections if we felt empowered to let down our walls.