What nurses want for National Nurses Week this year

5 Uplifting COVID-19 Facts for Some Much-Needed Positivity

With nurses holding down the frontlines during the coronavirus pandemic, National Nurses Week will mean even more this year. The occasion made official by the American Nurses Association in 1993 kicks off with National Nurses Day on May 6, and there's never been a more appropriate time to honor nurses. How would nurses like to see this time of recognition and celebration unfold?

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Several nurses and those who work closely with members of the profession offered their suggestions, some practical, some playful, some wistful:

"During Nurses Week, I would like everyone to support nurses by staying safe and healthy by adhering to social distancing guidelines! We are all in this together,” said Roxana Chicas, doctor of nursing and clinical instructor at Emory University's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing.

"Hazard pay,” said Fiona Crawford, a registered nurse who works in an ICU float pool in Chattanooga, Tennessee, mostly on the medical and surgical floors, but sometimes in the COVID-19 ICU.

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"A handwritten card from my manager or a provider I support, and a genuine thank you,” said Mary Babel, who studied nursing in Jacksonville, Florida, and is now a registered nurse for a reproductive health nonprofit in the Midwest.

"As a historian of nursing, I think nurses would like to be recognized for their past contribution to the development of health care for all people, and their role as a major force for social change. As someone who works with nurses now, I also think they would like to be valued for that work. Not just 'trusted' or lauded as heroes, but paid appropriately and to be safe at work," said Kylie Smith, assistant professor and Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellow for Nursing and the Humanities at Emory University in Atlanta. She is the author of the recently published "Talking Therapy: Knowledge and Power in American Psychiatric Nursing."

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"Just a thank you is nice. A genuine, honest thank you by way of words, a note or a card. Just to feel appreciated. No gifts are necessary,” said Amanda Moorhouse, family nurse practitioner in Johnson City, Tennessee.

"I think for nurses week this year, nurses deserve a raise! I would say probably the most useful thing would be a gift card to a grocery store. I can tell you nurses definitely don't want another 'pizza party'!" said Delaney McCann, registered nurse, who is currently a full-time nurse anesthesia student in South Carolina, class of 2022.