American Association of Colleges of Nursing includes Norwich University images in video marking National Nurses Week

As President Dr. Mark Anarumo has said, nurses played a big role in helping Norwich mitigate the coronavirus pandemic during academic year 2020-21. Nursing staff and students, directed by Nursing Director Paulette Thabault and Center for Civic Engagement Director Nicole DiDomenico kept the Plumley Armory COVID-19 testing center running, administering more than 28,000 tests in the spring semester alone.

The American Nurses Association and American Association of Colleges of Nursing are hailing nurses with National Nurses Day, which was Thursday, and National Nurses Week, which runs through May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. (Nightingale (1820-1910) transformed nursing by setting hospital sanitation standards, establishing a laundry to get patients clean linens and creating an “invalid’s kitchen” to feed patients with special dietary needs.)

The American Nurses Association and American Association of Colleges of Nursing are hailing nurses with National Nurses Day, which was Thursday, and National Nurses Week, which runs through May 12.

“(National) Nurses Week is an opportunity to honor and celebrate the art and science of nursing,” U.S. Army Maj. Victoria Salas, nursing services chief at Evans Army Community Hospital at Fort Carson, Colorado, told the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service. “It is an opportunity to celebrate the vast contributions nurses deliver in improving patient care and transforming health care.”

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A National Nurses Week video from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing included this image of Norwich Lecturer and Clinical Instructor Sarah Manacek helping a student during an outdoor lesson on the Wise Campus Center green n September 2020. (Photo by Mark Collier/Norwich University.)

Thabault said that beyond COVID-19 testing on campus, the pandemic called on Norwich’s nurses and nursing students to help educate campus on safety measures, support community hospitals in clinical settings and volunteer in vaccine clinics

“Many of our faculty work in health care settings and were on the frontline of caring for and protecting our communities during the pandemic,” she said. “They also rose to meet the challenges of their education."

Origin story

The American Nurses Association reported that Congress, in a joint resolution, and President Ronald Reagan with a proclamation, designated May 6 National Recognition Day for Nurses in 1982. The association’s board of directors declared May 6 to May 12, 1991, as the first National Nurses Week.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing celebrated the academic nursing programs in a series of video photo compilations. One video included images of Norwich University nursing students from Staff Photographer Mark Collier.

Norwich celebrated nursing students twice in the spring semester’s final sprint, with a White Coat Ceremony on April 14 and a Nurse Pinning Ceremony on April 29.

American businesses have also been hailing nurses. Dunkin’ Donuts coffee shops and Circle K convenience stores, for example, offered nurses free coffee on National Nurses Day; Chipotle restaurants offered nurses free entrees. For the week starting Monday, Shoemaker Crocs will give away 10,000 free pairs of shoes to health care workers as part of its “Free Pair for Health Care” program.

In nurses we trust

As Fox Business reported Thursday, nursing has become one of America’s most trustworthy professions. A December Honesty and Ethics poll by Gallup, for example, found that nurses earned a record 89% very high/high score for honesty and ethics, four percentage points greater than the previous high in 2019.

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that employment for registered nurses will grow by 7 percent, adding 221,900 jobs, from 2019 to 2029. (Photo by Mark Collier/Norwich University.)

Bureau of Labor Statistics data suggest nurses will be as needed as trusted. The bureau on April 9 projected that employment for registered nurses will grow by 7 percent, adding 221,900 jobs, from 2019 to 2029, exceeding the average for all occupations. Increased emphasis on preventive care; increasing rates of chronic health ailments such as diabetes and obesity; and demand for health care services from baby boomers will fuel the boost, the bureau said.

Norwich University is working to fill the pipeline. In the just-completed academic year, 105 nursing students participated in White Coat Ceremonies, marking the transition from classroom-based instruction to the beginning of hands-on patient care, and 55 participated in Nurse Pinning Ceremonies, marking the completion of degrees.

In all, Norwich’s Career and Internship reported, 100 students graduated from Norwich nursing programs from 2019 to 2020 — 35 in 2018, 24 in 2019 and 31 in 2020.

In a September video, Norwich 2020 nursing graduate Caroline Ells said experiences, such as working the COVID-19 testing center, helped prepare her for her career.

“Not only do we do hands-on learning in our clinical setting and in the classroom, but we’ve also taken it outside, to the community,” Ells said. “We can use our skills that we have learned and apply them.”


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