Throughout my career, I have had the privilege to work with hundreds and hundreds of nurses who treated patients in every area, from end-of- life care to emergency medicine. I have seen firsthand the technical expertise, compassion, grace, and empathy they show to every patient, under the most stressful and demanding circumstances. Nurses are an integral part of the healthcare system; their work is invaluable to our health and wellbeing.

This week is National Nurses Week; from May 6 th to May12th we recognize the extraordinary work of nurses across the country, who protect and improve our health each day.

This weeklong celebration of nursing ends on May 12 th to recognize the day Florence Nightingale was born, almost 200 years ago. Nightingale is known globally for dedicating her life in service to the sick, and is still seen as the founder of modern nursing.

Not only did Nightingale serve as a nurse in hospitals throughout London, but she also saved hundreds of lives of injured soldiers during the Crimean War. She took control of hospital operations in Crimea, improved sanitary conditions, and personally treated the most severe cases. Her tireless efforts to save lives and improve healthcare conditions gained her worldwide recognition. Her heroic work in nursing and health reform earned her formal recognition and a large grant from the British government. Florence Nightingale paved the way for future nurses all over the world, and changed the way modern medicine is delivered.

This National Nurses Week, we recognize and honor the ceaseless dedication of nurses everywhere. Their strength, compassion, and resolve are critical components of our healthcare institutions. Remember to thank and honor the nurses in your lives, for all that they do to safeguard and improve our health.