National Nurses Week 2016

As part of National Nurses Week, held May 6-12th each year, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Nursing Policy is joining the American Nurses Association and American Nurses Association-Michigan, in celebrating the 2016 National Nurses Week theme “Safety 360 Taking Responsibility Together.”  The theme recognizes the role nurses play in advocating for the health, safety, and rights of patients and nurses, and acknowledges the strong commitment to assuring a culture of safety that nurses demonstrate in their practice and profession.  National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6th, Nurses Day, and ends on May 12th, Florence Nightingale's birthday. The purpose of the week-long celebration is to raise awareness of the value of nursing and help educate the public about the role nurses play in assuring the health care needs of the American people are safely met.

In honor of the dedication, commitment, and tireless effort of Michigan’s more than 160,000 licensed nurses, and to promote and maintain the health of this nation, the Office of Nursing Policy is proud to recognize registered nurses throughout Michigan on this particular day for the high quality work they provide and their efforts to promote a culture of safety in the environments in which they practice 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

An English social reformer and statistician in the late 19th and early 20th century, Florence Nightingale first gained recognition for her work tending wounded soldiers during the Crimean War.  Due to her insistence that no man should die alone, she became known as “The Lady with the Lamp” for her habit of making rounds at night.  Her social reforms included improving healthcare for all segments of British society and in India, expanding acceptable forms of female workforce participation, spreading medical knowledge through her prolific writings, and helping to popularize graphical representation of statistical data.  She established a nursing school at St. Thomas Hospital in London in 1860, which raised the standards of nurse training, and advocated that trainers at all institutions be of the highest quality, thereby ensuring continual improvement in nursing knowledge.  Florence Nightingale is recognized as the founder of modern nursing.  Named in her honor, new nurses take the Nightingale Pledge, a statement of the ethics and principles of the nursing profession, or a revised version of it, at “pinning” ceremonies, sometimes performed to lamplight, at many schools of nursing.

Nurses now practice in a diverse array of healthcare, community and educational settings and are differentiated from other providers by their approach to patient care and training. Nurses perform independently and inter-professionally within their scope of practice and dependent upon their training and their advanced and specialized credentials. There are currently 98 Board of Nursing approved Educational programs in Michigan offering pre-licensure nursing programs. A list of Michigan Board of Nursing approved programs, categorized by type of nursing degree or certificate conferred, can be found on the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs webpage at www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-35299_63294_27529_27542-182977--,00.html.