National Nurses Day

Author JL Huffman
2 min readMay 6, 2024
Thank You, Nurses!

Today is the start of National Nurses Week, which culminates on Florence Nightingale’s birthday, May 12th.

Nightingale’s Impact on Mortality Due to Infection

“The Lady with the Lamp” is the founder of modern nursing. At the end of the 19th Century, during the Crimean War, Ms. Nightingale instituted strict hygiene practices and hand-washing. These routines slashed the death rate from 42% to 2% due to a significant decrease in infections.

Bellevue Hospital School of Nursing

The Bellevue Hospital School of Nursing, established in 1873 in NY, was the first Nursing School based on Nightingale’s hygiene principles.

National Nurses Day

Nearly one hundred years later, in 1982, National Nurses Day was recognized and celebrated.

Nurse Workplace Hazards

Nurses comprise the largest percentage of healthcare workers, with over 3 million in the US today. The work is challenging and physically strenuous. They walk ~ 5 kilometers per shift. In addition, they are at higher risk of an on-the-job back injury than construction workers.

Where Nurses Work

Where do these millions of caregivers practice? You may be surprised to learn that over 50% of nurses work outside the hospital setting, for example, home care, doctor’s offices, and nursing homes. Others participate in research and educational fields. Some nurses pursue advanced learning and become nurse practitioners.

Nursing: A Work of Heart

As a former nurse, now retired Trauma Surgeon/ICU Physician, and patient, I can appreciate the role of the nurse from many perspectives. Are there one or more nurses who have had an impact on you or your family?

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Author JL Huffman

I’m a retired Trauma surgeon/ICU doctor, a world traveler and gardener. I’ve published in the surgical literature; now I’m writing poetry, memoir & fiction.