Now more than ever, we need to give our thanks and appreciation to all nurses.

We're currently in the midst of celebrating National Nurses Week (May 11-17) and the Year of the Nurse and Midwife. Here's a quote from ICN President Annette Kennedy:

Having the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife coincide with Florence Nightingale’s bicentennial raises the exciting prospect of nurses finally being recognized for all the good they do. 

The following are some books, available from the digital library, that celebrate the nursing profession. 

Looking for a teachable moment to share with the kids:

  • Nurse, Soldier, Spy by Marissa Moss – “This is the incredible true story of Sarah Emma Edmonds, who dressed as a man and fought in the Civil War. When she was 19, Sarah cut her hair, donned her brother's clothes, and fled from Canada, where her father wanted her to marry an elderly gentleman. In the U.S., she went by the name Frank Thompson and joined the Army to fight the Confederates. She was a nurse working on the battlefield when, because of her heroism, she was asked to serve as a spy. At her death, Edmonds was buried in a military cemetery, in a plot reserved for Civil War veterans--the only woman to have this honor.”

Celebrating Florence Nightingale:

  • Florence Nightingale to Her Nurses by Florence Nightingale - “First published in 1914, “Florence Nightingale to Her Nurses” contains a selection of addresses given by Nightingale to the probationers and nurses of The Nightingale School at St. Thomas’s Hospital. Florence Nightingale (1820–1910) was an English social reformer, statistician, and pioneer of modern nursing. She became famous during the time she served as manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War, giving nursing a positive reputation and becoming a Victorian culture icon. Also known as "The Lady with the Lamp", she was an accomplished writer who produced a large corpus of work related to medical knowledge. Offering a unique insight into the mind and work of one of the most famous nurses in history, “Florence Nightingale to Her Nurses” is not to be missed by those with an interest in Florence Nightingale and how she shaped the face of modern nursing over a century ago.” 

A look at the lifestyle:

  • Call the Nurse by Mary J. MacLeod – “Tired of the pace and noise of life near London and longing for a better place to raise their young children, Mary J. MacLeod and her husband encountered their dream while vacationing on a remote island in the Scottish Hebrides. Enthralled by its windswept beauty, they soon were the proud owners of a near-derelict croft house—a farmer's stone cottage—on "a small acre" of land. Mary assumed duties as the island's district nurse. Call the Nurse is her account of the enchanted years she and her family spent there, coming to know its folk as both patients and friends. In anecdotes that are by turns funny, sad, moving, and tragic, she recalls them all, the crofters and their laird, the boatmen and tradesmen, young lovers and forbidding churchmen.” 
  • The District Nurse by Susan Cohen – “For 150 years, up and down the country, from large cities to rural areas and the remotest islands and highlands, district nurses have been visiting the sick in their own homes. Here they have provided healthcare, and given moral support and advice to people of all ages the length and breadth of Britain. Follow the story of how, in the 1860s, the Liverpool philanthropist William Rathbone VI set up an experiment in home nursing in his home city, aimed at providing care for the poor who had no access to proper medical attention. His scheme resulted in the establishment of district nursing as a profession, and the inauguration of the Queen Victoria Jubilee Institute for Nurses. Take a journey through the growth of the district nursing movement, of the expansion of services into school nursing and health visiting in 1891, through nursing and pastoral care during the First and Second World Wars, and learn how, periodically, the district nurse has provided maternity and midwifery services. This illustrated history of district nursing provides a unique insight into the role played by members of this branch of the nursing profession, and demonstrates how the nurses have been the backbone of the community, providing the public with a wide range of invaluable healthcare services.”

Helping them, helping us:

  • Who Nurses the Nurse by Rebecca Kenyon – “Through a collection of stories told by nurses in their own words, the book addresses why nurses are nurses, and why patients love them. Nurses are the glue that hold the medical process together. Patients, some with family support and others without, are in a strange and scary environment. Nurses help to combat those fears and anxieties that all patients and families have. These stories are from nurses young and old, and about the special patients in their lives. Patients are the reason most of us go into nursing. It certainly isn't about the money or fame. It is about caring, walking that patient and their family, through the process of illness and the unknown, to the next stage. Sometimes that stage has a positive outcome and sometimes not. As nurses we celebrate with the patients and their families and sometimes we grieve with them. All of us who have been care givers have memories of some of our patients and their families. Maybe we even stay in touch with them. I am still in touch with Ruby, the 97 year old widow of George, one of my first patients. Ruby and George are why I went into nursing. Ruby's love and support of me was a nurturing force in my walk through those sterile white halls everyday. It's what kept me going. Who is your Ruby? Who nurtures the nurse in you?
  • Nurse Burnout by Suzanne Waddill-Goad – “Nursing is more than a job. It is a profession that attracts those who value compassion, want to make a difference in other people's lives, and want to do greater good in the world. While the profession provides endless options of practice, settings, and flexibility, nurses are burning out due to schedules, long shifts, mental and physical exhaustion, workload, conflict and bullying, challenging patients, rapid advances in technology, and lack of control. And when stress and fatigue take over a nurse's ability to prioritize self-care and recovery time, patient safety and quality is greatly affected and compromised. Nurse Burnout: Overcoming Stress in Nursing explores the stress- fatigue-burnout connection, the risks involved, and defines the health concerns and practice considerations for how to move the profession forward. Author Suzanne Waddill-Goad provides nurses with the tools they need set boundaries and combat compassion fatigue in order to renew energy to be at your personal and professional best.

We thank you nurses, for your ongoing dedication and compassion for all of us.