National Nurses Day takes on a new meaning in the year 2020, this year. Nurses have been the front line in a battle to save patients dying from COVID-19 around the world. Nurses have committed themselves daily to difficult, dangerous, and draining work; while putting themselves at risk of infection. All while adapting to a very new and different environment than many have seen in their prior years of nursing practice; today nurses are performing at a very high level under intense pressure, while also being placed into the role of the only human contact patients have in their most desperate hours of need.
Hundreds of nurses have died from COVID-19 thus far, in every nursing environment around the globe, while fulfilling roles that may be new to their nursing practice, with the lingering threat of the virus every day.
While many have placed themselves in harm’s way in the line of duty through military, law enforcement, SAR, or first responder services throughout the years, it has been a century since death has stalked the hospital with staff as its target.
So, on this Nurses Day, we hope that everyone will remember, as the poet Christine Bell wrote:
"Nurses are there when the last breath is taken, and nurses are there when the first breath is taken. Although it is more enjoyable to celebrate the birth, it is just as important to comfort in death."
Nurses are drawn to their profession with a desire to care, to serve, or to help; and sadly, as of late, to do so in a suddenly dangerous environment with little to no support in many areas of the world today.