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National Nurses Week

National Nurses WeekNurses Trusted to Care

All across the United States, registered nurses are being saluted.

On May 6, 2011, the Missouri Nurses Association is joining the American Nurses Association in celebrating Nurses Trusted to Care, as part of National Nurses Week, which is held May 6-12, every year.  The purpose of the week long celebration is to raise awareness of the value of nursing to help educate the public about the role nurses play in meeting the health care needs of the American people.

In honor of the dedication, commitment, and tireless effort of nearly 3.1 million registered nurses nationwide to promote and maintain the health of this nation, the ANA and MONA are proud to recognize registered nurses everywhere on this particular day for the quality of work they provide seven days a week, 365 days a year.

In honor of Nurses Trusted to Care, all registered nurses in America are encouraged to proudly wear the official ANA “RN” pin or any other pin that clearly identifies them as registered nurses, and/or their nurses uniform on May 6, 2011.

Did you know?

There are nearly 3.1 million registered nurses in the United States. And, 2.4 million of them are actively employed.

According to projections released in February 2004 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, RNs top the list of the 10 occupations with the largest projected job growth in the years 2002-2012.

The nation’s nurses rank first for their honesty and integrity, with 82 percent of Americans rating them “high” or “very high,” according to a 2005 Gallup Poll. Nurses have consistently rated first every year but one after being added to the list in 1999.

A study published in the January/February 2006 Journal Health Affairs provides evidence that if hospitals invest in appropriate RN staffing, thousands of lives and millions of dollars could be saved each year. Specifically, the study shows that if hospitals increased RN staffing and hours of nursing care per patient, more than 6,700 patient deaths and four million days of care in hospitals could be avoided each year. In addition to the immense societal benefits of adequate nurse staffing, the anticipated financial benefits of savings per avoided patient death or hospitalization may also be significant. This study is important because it highlights the fact that people suffer and die when nursing care is inadequate. It is the latest study in a growing body of evidence that clearly demonstrates that nurses make the critical, cost-effective difference in providing safe, high-quality patient care.

A study, published Sept. 23, 2003, in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and conducted by Linda Aiken of the University of Pennsylvania, determined that the educational level of RNs working in hospitals has a significant impact on whether patients survive common surgeries. The study probed the impact not only of the numbers of RNs providing bedside care, but how the educational preparation of RNs impacts patient mortality. Among the study’s most significant findings: that raising the percentage of RNs with bachelor’s degrees from 20 percent to 60 percent would save four lives for every 1,000 patients undergoing common surgical procedures.

America’s registered nurses report that health and safety concerns play a major role in their decisions to remain in the profession, according to findings from a Health and Safety Survey released in 2001. In the survey, over 70 percent (70.5 percent) of nurses cited the acute and chronic effects of stress and overwork as one of their top three health and safety concerns. Yet nurses continue to be pushed harder -- with more than two-thirds reporting that they work some type of unplanned overtime every month.

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