Today marks the beginning of National Nurses Week, a week in which we pause to honor and recognize AFGE’s registered nurses, certified nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses, nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, and other nurses.
As the world grapples with a worsening pandemic, it has never been clearer how much we owe to our nurses. We have seen the selflessness, the dedication, and the compassion of our AFGE members on full display as all of us reckon with the unimaginable consequences of the virus sweeping the globe.
What’s more, our nurses in many cases have been putting their lives on the line – caring for others without vital personal protective equipment, proper safety protocols, and other commonsense health and safety measures to protect nurses, other hospital staff, and the communities they serve.
Every day across this country, our nurses are showing remarkable grit and tremendous commitment to their profession and to their patients. That these brave public servants deserve America’s recognition is clear. But they deserve much more than that. They deserve our nation’s respect. They deserve support. And they deserve action.
Too many of our members are still fighting on the front lines of this pandemic without critical equipment. In the best of times, too many of our nurses are overloaded inside of short-staffed hospitals. Too many are facing attacks on their rights and voices at work.
As we enter this National Nurses Week, let’s not just recognize our nurses. Let’s resolve to support our nurses in their fight for dignity, fairness, and respect on the job 365 days out of the year – and let’s help them build a better health-care system for all.