May 7, 2012
is partnering with the American Nurses Association (ANA) to honor the contributions and commitment of America's 3.1 million registered nurses during National Nurses Week,
. Throughout the week,
will host a number of community events supporting this year's theme, "Nurses: Advocating, Leading, Caring."
One of the nation's largest health care events, National Nurses Week begins with National
/RN Recognition Day on
, the birthday of
, founder of modern nursing.
"The nursing profession is both an art and a science—it's as much about providing quality of care as it is providing a caring touch to those in need," said
Senior Vice President of Nursing,
, Ph.D., NEA-BC. "We're very pleased to celebrate the vital contributions these dedicated professionals make every day to improving patient care and safety and ensuring a compassionate environment within the health care system."
Nearly everyone's life has been touched, and in many cases saved, by a nurse. Whether it is falling ill at school, a visit to the doctor's office or a life-threatening illness, tens of thousands of Americans rely on the knowledge and care of nurses each day. Now more than ever, nurses play a vital role in the country's health care system as they are called on to provide primary care services to meet an ever-growing demand and implement measures to help improve the quality of care.
With increased responsibilities, aging baby boomers and a growing number of retiring nurses, the demand for nurses is great. Researchers estimate a shortage of nearly 260,000 nurses by the year 2025. The number of positions in licensed practical, licensed vocational and registered nursing is expected to grow more than 20 percent each.