NYU Lutheran celebrates its nurses with full week of appreciation events

Everywhere you turn in a hospital, you’ll find a nurse—one of the hardest-working healthcare professionals of any health system.

Nurses often are the first providers to greet patients in the clinical environment and set them on a path to wellness. Nurses mend wounds, help deliver newborns, give essential care to the elderly, provide a shoulder to cry on and bring out smiles when times are tough.

To honor this highly trained, critical group of caregivers, NYU Lutheran is joining healthcare institutions across the country to celebrate them during National Nurses Week, May 6-12.

“Our nurses work so hard to ensure our patients are given the best care possible at NYU Lutheran,” said Joanne Iolonardi, RN, chief nursing officer at NYU Lutheran. “This weeklong celebration is just one way we can give back and show them how much they are appreciated.”

Pampering sessions in the form of a spa day and night, complete with massages and acupuncture for day and night shifts, will be held in the employee lounge on Friday, May 6.

Blessing of the Hands of each nurse, who touches the lives of every patient he or she treats, will be held in NYU Lutheran Medical Center’s Sister Aasta Foreland Memorial Chapel at 7:30-8:30 a.m., 12-2 p.m., and 5-7 p.m., on Monday, May 9. Lunch will be served May 9 from noon to 2:30 p.m. Gifts, courtesy of the NYU Lutheran Medical and Dental Staff, will be provided to each nursing unit on Tuesday, May 10. Dinner will be served on Tuesday from 9-11:30 p.m. The main event, on May 11 in the NYU Lutheran auditorium from 2-3 p.m., will feature a Nursing Awards Ceremony that honors individual achievement among nurses that truly make a difference.

National Nurses Week grew out several movements to recognize the value and contributions over the years. International Nurses Day, celebrated on May 12, commemorates the birthday of Florence Nightingale, a Victorian-era nurse out of England who built a reputation out of her tireless care for soldiers and officers during the 19th century Crimean War.

Nightingale became known as “The Lady with the Lamp” after she was often spotted caring for the wounded through the night, with only lamplight to help guide her way. She went on to become a social reformer and healthcare advocate, establishing the first secular nursing school in the world at St. Thomas’ Hospital, now part of the King’s College London School of Medicine. The Nightingale Pledge was named in her honor.

In 1982, President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation establishing National Recognition of Nurses Day on May 6. In 1990, the American Nurses Association started a weeklong celebration to celebrate nurses from May 6-12. The week was permanently established by the ANA in 1993. May 6 was also established as National RN Recognition Day, and National Student Nurses Day is celebrated on May 8.

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