“Devoted to Service.” For decades, nurses have said those words aloud on the day they enter their profession. It’s part of what’s called the Nightingale Pledge, so-named for Florence Nightingale who is considered the founder of modern nursing. Florence Nightingale’s 199th birthday is May 12, and in the week leading up to it we acknowledge all those who have devoted themselves to service by celebrating National Nurses Week.
The great thing is, you can celebrate National Nurses Week right now, wherever you are. All you have to do is think back to that time you broke your arm as a little kid. Or that time your beloved aunt fought breast cancer. That time your dad fell off the roof while painting, or the car accident your friend had. The day you were born. Every physical and check-up you’ve ever had. Over the course of a lifetime, we rely on nurses and their devotion to service more often, and in more ways, than we can count.
So right now, celebrate National Nurses Week by thinking of a nurse who helped you.
It’s worth noting that California has two different types of professional licenses for nurses. There are close to 100,000 licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) in the state, and more than 450,000 registered nurses (RNs). RNs and LVNs are the care-givers who tend to our mental and physical well-being as we grow and heal, shepherding us through some of life’s most challenging, intimate moments.
You’ve always known how important nurses are to your health and to the health of those you love. This is the week set aside for recognizing all of those professionals. So, now take the next step. This week, go beyond just thinking about nurses and actually thank them, at least one of them, personally. After all, these are the women and men who’ve devoted their careers to service for you.
If a career as an RN or LVN sounds appealing to you, visit the Board of Registered Nursing website or the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians website to learn what it takes to become a licensed professional in California.