BLOOMINGTON, Minn., May 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Rasmussen College 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, May 6-12. Throughout the week, Rasmussen 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 Nurses Day/RN Recognition Day on May 6 and concludes May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, 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 Rasmussen College Senior Vice President of Nursing, Florence Richman, 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.