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Since 1985, the second week of May has been marked as National Nursing Week in Canada.
The date coincides with International Nursing Day, which is marked each May 12 in recognition of the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the Englishwoman recognized as the pioneer of modern nursing.
"The Lady with the Lamp" was known for caring for wounded soldiers during the 1850s Crimean War but the work of nurses today goes well beyond such traditional roles, both in Canada and around the world.
This year's theme is #YesThisIsNursing. It celebrates and recognizes the diversity of nursing roles.
National Nursing WeekMay 7-13, 2018
At UHN, it's reflected in the many settings that include nurses as vital members of our interprofessional teams. Their duties span primary, acute and long-term care, rehab, outreach programs and international work to name only a few. There's no area of healthcare that does not see nurses playing a key role.
And, within these areas, nurses are doing a wide range of duties, from being traditional point-of-care providers to policy developers, administrators, researchers, educators, practitioners and consultants.
For some time now, nursing has been evolving beyond that classic care model symbolized by Florence Nightingale. It now also includes advocating for patients and helping them navigate care beyond the walls of a traditional healthcare facility. It also means being vital partners with industries in the development of innovative products, which enhance care and the patient experience through such things as apps for remote observation, symptom management and treatment.
To discuss the profession and learn from each other, this year's Nursing Forum will be held on Wednesday at the Toronto Reference Library. As in the past, it offers a time for nurses to reflect and celebrate their individual and collective achievements and accomplishments.
Throughout the week, there's also an opportunity for nurses – and the entire UHN community – to share on UHN social media channels how nursing has made an impact, using #YesThisIsNursing.