By Donna Meador
Kentucky Nurses Association
May is National Nurses Month. As the professional organization representing all of Kentucky’s 90,000 nurses, the Kentucky Nurses Association would like to take a few moments of your time to tell you about nurses.
You probably know a nurse or two, may have nurses in your family or friend group, and hopefully have had positive experiences of nursing care. As we have heard many, many times (and year after year in the United States), nurses are the most trusted profession (2022 Gallup poll). But do you really know what we do? Well, it is time for our public to know, straight from the horses’ mouths.
We are portrayed in the media in a variety of ways. Most of those portrayals are angelic, caring, nurturing, even motherly. Occasionally we are portrayed in a more realistic but bent-toward-the-negative fashion. (Think of Nurse Jackie — a popular showtime series featuring a strong-willed but flawed nurse balancing the demands of the emergency room.) The truth is, caring for our patients is extremely important, of course. But what we are doing in the act of “caring” is deeper and often more technical than the public may realize.
Today’s Kentucky nurses are leaders, researchers, innovators, educators, administrators, and of course, clinical practitioners. We do our jobs in scrubs, lab coats, military uniforms, or even business suits. We are proud to speak up and advocate for ourselves and our patients, and to work diligently every day to not only care for our Kentucky communities in the traditional ways, but also to improve health, equity, and justice in our healthcare organizations and throughout the commonwealth.
During Nurses Month, the Kentucky Nurses Association will spotlight, honor, and celebrate those in our network who are more than a nurse… but a difference maker in so many lives, each and every day. Join us. Tell a nurse you know that you appreciate them, and then: ask them what they really do!