National Nurses Week is held every year during May 6-12. Its purpose is to raise public awareness of the value of nursing and to help educate the public about the vital roles registered nurses play in meeting the health-care needs of the American people. This week is celebrated annually by the American Nurses Association and the Virgin Islands State Nurses Association and its district organizations on St. Thomas/St. John and St. Croix.
"Nurses: Your Voice, Your Health, Your Life" is the theme for 2004. Traditionally, the week is devoted to highlighting the diverse ways in which registered nurses, the largest health-care profession, are working to improve health care. From bedside nursing in hospitals and long-term care facilities to the halls of research institutions, state legislatures and Congress, the depth and breadth of the nursing profession is meeting the expanding health-care needs of American society.
The work of America's 2.7 million registered nurses to save lives and to maintain the health of millions of individuals is the focus of this year's observance.
To celebrate National Nurses Week, VISNA would like to pay tribute to the registered nurses in the Virgin Islands and the nation. Registered nurses provide highly skilled, safe and quality care in a variety of settings and encounter increased challenges to their professional and ethical commitment to deliver essential health care. VISNA wishes the public to know that nurses are committed to providing the best possible nursing care to the V.I. community.
VISNA joins ANA to advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting economic and general welfare, promoting a positive and realistic view of nursing and lobbying lawmakers and regulatory agencies on health-care issues affecting nurses and the public.
One issue that greatly impacts this community is the number of persons without medical coverage. Nurses see first hand the consequences that stem from a lack of health insurance coverage: no preventative care and sicker patients who have postponed needed health care.
Cover the Uninsured Week is May 10-14. As part of the celebration of Nurses Week, VISNA wishes to focus the public's attention on the plight of the uninsured in our community, with the hope that increased public awareness will help to find solutions.
If a nurse has made a difference in your life, consider calling him/her and expressing your appreciation during Nurses Week.
Gloria B. Callwood
President, V.I. Nurses Association
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