School of Nursing

April 28, 2022

Nurses, Seen and Unseen – Celebrating Nurses Month

For the third year in a row, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee has declared May to be Nurses Month. The theme this year is “Nurses Make a Difference.”

Nursing is America’s most trusted profession because many see and recognize the differences nurses make in hospitals and other healthcare settings. Yet most people see only a small portion of what nurses do and how they make a difference beyond the bedside.

Only a few have an opportunity to witness the ways nurses work to foster wellness, improve community health, reduce the impact of the social determinants of health, and advocate for a healthcare system that is antiracist and provides equitable access to everyone.

Nurses tend to the injured and ill, and they do an extraordinary job. But that’s not all they do. Nurses are also powerful advocates for wellness. Through their training and experience, nurses know that it is better, more cost-effective, and more successful to maintain wellness than to treat illness. They encourage wellness in many ways, from running preventive health clinics to creating educational materials and conducting critical research to fight for racial justice in healthcare. As nurses, we know that fighting racism plays a vital role in creating equitable health systems for marginalized communities.

Community health nursing is another aspect of nursing care that is often unrecognized. Public health nurses focus on the health of communities and work to improve health through education, vaccination, and legislation.

Nurses are global leaders, helping policymakers understand the importance of the social determinants of health and wellness. Nursing research has documented how economics, racism, food and housing insecurity, biases, education, and many other social factors impact health outcomes. The pandemic has highlighted the inequities in public health responses for Black, Indigenous, and communities of color.

Because they confront healthcare access and equity issues daily, nurses are forceful proponents of addressing aspects of the existing healthcare system that result in inequities. Nurses use their knowledge to campaign for a healthcare system that is inclusive, accessible, and equitable.

This National Nurses Month, please join me in recognizing the remarkable efforts of all nurses, from those who provide bedside care to those who advocate on your behalf for the right to access quality healthcare.

Nurses are making a difference in many ways. I invite you to support those efforts in every way possible. Follow us across our social media platforms as we elevate the voices of #HuskyNurses and share their stories.

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