Every May, we celebrate National Nurses Week to express our gratitude for the incredible work nurses, including nurse scientists, do every day as the largest component of the health care workforce. However, this year is a little different for us all. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, National Nurses Week brings to light just how vital nurses are to keeping us healthy and safe. In fact, the American Nurses Association has designated the entire month of May as National Nurses Month to recognize nurses’ extraordinary efforts this year, the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.
Right now, nurses around the country and globe, including nurses from NINR and other NIH institutes, are working tirelessly to help those who need it most. While many are providing direct patient care, others are providing guidance on testing, infection control, and isolation and quarantine procedures; capturing the experiences of clinicians, patients, families, and communities to inform future policy; developing technology to track the spread of the virus and measure its impact on daily life; surveying individuals to learn more about their health behaviors and coping mechanisms during this pandemic; or leading various evidence-based practice, research, and quality improvements for nurses on the frontlines. These are just a few of the countless ways nurses are at the core of changing the course of this infectious disease.
We also recognize those nurse scientists who have continued to work behind the scenes to conduct research that will inform decision-making processes to protect our society. To share their efforts, NINR has a new web feature drawing attention to how nursing research supports infection prevention and control efforts, and highlighting NINR-supported research on health care-associated infections.
While we may not know what tomorrow will bring, we can be confident that the nursing community will continue to embody and support public health efforts that strengthen the health of us all.
I wish all of you the best of health and offer my heartfelt appreciation to our nation’s nurses.
Be safe and be well.
Tara A. Schwetz, PhD
Acting Director, NINR