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Celebrating Our Nurses

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About Florence Nightingale
Florence Nightingale inspired the profession of modern nursing. Born in 1820 to a prominent family, she felt called to be a nurse. In her day, women were expected to become wives and mothers. Pursuing a career in nursing made her a rebel among her female peers and greatly distressed her mother and sister. She earned great recognition for her service during the Crimean War and was often referred to as "the lady with the lamp" based on her nightly rounding of wounded soldiers.

In 1860, she founded the world's first secular nursing school at St. Thomas' Hospital in London. Many graduating nurses today continue to take the Nightingale pledge, promising to aid physicians in their work and devoting themselves to the welfare of their patients.

Proving that the Nightingale spirit is alive and well today, nurses are consistently ranked as the most trusted profession. Eight out of ten Americans judge nurses to have high or very high ethical standards. Nurses are ranked even higher than military officers, doctors, and pharmacists in the esteem of the country, although those professions are also deemed to have strong ethics.

National Nurses' Week begins May 6 and concludes on Florence Nightengale's birthday.

MU Health Care is celebrating the contributions of our nurses during National Nurses' Week.

Join us in honoring the nurses at the hospitals and clinics within University of Missouri Health Care. Our nurses have many roles - from staff nurse to educator to nurse practitioner and nurse researcher. All of them serve with passion for the profession and a strong commitment to patient safety.

"Our nurses play a valuable role in putting patients and families at the center of everything we do," said Anita Larsen, MBA, RN, chief operating officer and chief nurse executive. "We're proud of the tireless dedication and expertise of our nurses."

The University of Missouri Health System has a long history of excellence in nursing. Even before University Hospital officially opened its doors in 1956, our nurses have been making a difference in the lives of their patients.

The Sinclair School of Nursing was officially established in 1920 within the School of Medicine. Before that, nurses were a critical part of the Parker Memorial Training Hospital, which opened in 1901 and was the first hospital affiliated with the University of Missouri system. Today, MU Health Care employs more than 1,250 nurses, and the nursing staff has more than 12,000 years of nursing experience combined.

Throughout Nurses' Week, our Facebook pages will encourage the recognition and celebration of these crucial caregivers. Everyone is invited to post positive comments about our nurses and also answer nursing trivia questions for the opportunity to win prizes! Log on to www.facebook.com/muhealthcare  and thank a nurse today!

About National Nurses' Week
National Nurses' Week begins each year on May 6 and ends on May 12, Florence Nightingale's birthday. Here are some facts about how this recognition has evolved throughout history:

  • 1954 - National Nurses' Week was first observed from Oct. 11 to 16. The year of the observance marked the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale's mission to the territory of Crimea.
  • 1974 - In February of that year, a week was designated by the White House as National Nurses' Week, and President Nixon issued a proclamation.
  • 1982 - President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation on March 25, proclaiming "National Recognition Day for Nurses" to be May 6.
  • 1990 - The American Nurses Association board of directors expanded the recognition of nurses to a week-long celebration, declaring May 6 to 12, 1991, as National Nurses' Week.

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