May 6 is Nurses Day in the United States and May 12 is International Nurses Day. I just wanted to stop and give a shout out to the nurses both here in the United States and around the world. Medieval thinkers reckoned there were only three noble professions: divinity (clergy), law, and medicine. You may perhaps notice the first two on that list have fallen out of disfavor in recent years for circumstances that I won’t discuss today but may be apparent to many of my readers.
Nursing constitutes the largest group of medical practitioners. How many people are involved in the nursing profession? Just to give you an idea, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing reports:
“Nursing is the nation’s largest healthcare profession, with nearly 4.2 million registered nurses (RNs) nationwide. Of all licensed RNs, 84.1% are employed in nursing. The federal government projects that more than 203,000 new registered nurse positions will be created each year from 2021-2031.” (1)
The nursing practitioners of all stripes generously give of their time not only to their patients but also to many volunteer and not-for-profit groups. Do nurses volunteer? You bet they do. Just ask the Red Cross or other agencies handling disaster relief. The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics report 14,700 volunteer nurses took part in their clinics in 2021. This is a phenomenal record of charitable activity.
INursing is among the most highly regarded professions in the United States. Along with firefighters and doctors, nurses have been held in high esteem by the general public for many years. Perhaps my profession (certified public accounting) should take a hint from this.
I am proud Moravian University, where I hang my mortar board and doctoral hood during the academic year, granted over 100 bachelors’ degrees in nursing and many students with masters degrees in 2023.
Whether working for pay or doing charitable work, stop and think about the number of times a nurse brought a smile to the face of someone facing a tough medical situation or their loved one. How many times has a nurse made you smile when you were facing uncertainty? It is no wonder nurses come to the top of the most respected charts.
A happy International Nursing Day to one and all!
- Source: Nursing Fact Sheet.