National Nursing Week


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2 WINNIPEG FREE PRESS - SATURDAY, MAY 9, 2020 Your leadership makes a difference every day. Share your story @ canadanurses #VoiceToLead #IND2019 & #NationalNursingWeek NATIONAL NURSING WEEK MAY 6-12, 2019 NATIONAL NURSING WEEK MAY 11-17, 2020 BY JENNIFER MCFEE N urses are always on the frontline in health care. From birth to palliative care, they're the caregivers with whom we have closest contact — in the best of times and during the worst. Each year, nurses around the world are honoured during the week of May 12, a date chosen to coincide with the birthday of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale. This year, National Nursing Week runs from Monday, May 11 to Sunday, May 17, with a focus on the apt theme Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Nursing the World to Health. This theme focuses attention on the many ways nurses are central to addressing a wide range of health challenges. At the same time, it's meant to raise the profile of the profession — and hopefully attract the next generation of nurses. The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, in honour of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth. WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said the year will focus on their "enormous sacrifices and contributions" and on the need to address shortages in both professions. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it's abundantly clear that nurses should be celebrated for their essential role in protecting the health of our entire society. It's time to express our appreciation for all the work that nurses do, and to do our part to ensure they are protected and supported in turn . COLLEGE OF REGISTERED NURSES OF MANITOBA Some of the crucial roles that Manitoba's registered nurses (RNs) perform are highly visible during the current pandemic, but they deserve recognition for contributions in every conceivable area of health care. "The roles that registered nurses play are as varied as you can possibly imagine. Most people think about the clinical roles that registered nurses play. Certainly, in the pandemic, that's what we see but they can be working in so many different settings," says Katherine Stansfield, CEO and registrar of the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba. "They can be in the community doing prevention work or promoting health. In a pandemic, they might be doing screening or looking at the most vulnerable populations. There are nurses that work in long-term care, acute care, intensive care, and labour and delivery rooms. Registered nurses are everywhere." In addition, RNs work in leadership and administrative roles as well as in education and research. "We have a chief nursing officer who is currently before the province every single day, providing guidance and helping to reassure," Stansfield says, referring to Lanette Siragusa, chief nursing officer for Shared Health Manitoba. "She's getting messages to Manitobans that the health-care system is in good hands." As regulated health-care professionals, RNs complete a four-year baccalaureate or bachelor of nursing program, pass a national exam and meet additional requirements to maintain their licence. Nurse practitioners further their studies with a master's degree followed by an exam. As of Dec. 31, 2019, Manitoba had a total of 13,617 registered nurses. Of those, 261 are nurse practitioners who are fully autonomous. The College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba governs the profession in the public interest and sets the standard for education programs and conduct. "We're empowered or authorized through the Regulated Health Professions Act," Stansfield says. "We take our direction from legislation and then we interpret that so it's clear to the public what they can expect from registered nurses." At the beginning of the pandemic, there was a call for individuals who had been registered nurses in the past to return to work. "As a college we made sure that the requirements for this level was a temporary registration," Stansfield says. "But whether you're working for four months or for 40 years, it's still important that you are a safe and competent and ethical practitioner." In the face of the pandemic, all nursing professions are engaged in frontline care. For Stansfield, it's important to recognize all colleagues who work together — and not just the health-care providers. "There are also all the other people who are working so hard to keep the system going. Particularly in the pandemic, support workers play the very important role of keeping the environment clean, and that is not an easy job," she says. "There are also people who are the cleaners, people who work in the cafeteria, and people who transport patients from one area to another safely. They are all part of an incredibly complex system that simply couldn't function without any of those roles." EVERY DAY HONOURING A MULTITUDE OF CRUCIAL ROLES IN HEALTH CARE DURING NATIONAL NURSING WEEK CONTINUED ON THE NEXT PAGE EACH YEAR, NURSES AROUND THE WORLD ARE HONOURED DURING THE WEEK OF MAY 12, A DATE CHOSEN TO COINCIDE WITH THE BIRTHDAY OF NURSING PIONEER FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE. Nursing the World to Health

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