EDITORIAL: Thank a nurse today, any day

May 9—We are always thankful for nurses, but in recent years, saying thank you just doesn't seem to be enough during National Nurses Week.

COVID-19 had nurses on the front line of care. Not only caring for people whose lives are at risk but risking their own lives to provide that care.

So, it seems only appropriate to say thank you, salute and honor nurses as the week concludes Friday, May 12, which also marks the birthday of Florence Nightingale.

Nightingale is considered the founder of modern nursing and National Nurses Week always includes her birthday.

While many nurses are referred to as "Florence Nightingale," Nightingale had a nickname of her own: "The Lady with the Lamp."

Born May 12, 1820, Nightingale earned the nickname during the Crimean War when one correspondent noted that after the battles, after the soldiers had retired and the medical officers slept, Nightingale continued tending the sick and the wounded deep into the night, traveling from bed to bed by the light of the "little lamp in her hand."

In the mid-1880s, Nightingale established a school to train nurses.

She wrote "Notes on Nursing," a book that remained a bestseller into the late 20th century.

The Nightingale example continues 200-plus years after her birth.

Nurses are trained individuals who continue their training throughout their lives.

And like Nightingale, nurses tend the sick and injured.

Nurses are the ones who answer patients' calls and soothe patients' pains.

Nurses perform these tasks throughout the day and night. And during the pandemic, they performed them while risking their own health and lives.

If you've ever been in the hospital, ever had a relative who needed care, remember the nurses who comforted you or a loved one.

Tell a nurse thanks for all they do, whether it is at the end of National Nurses Week or any day. Tell them thanks, treat them with respect, show them every courtesy and never forget their help and their example.