Happy National Nurses Day

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Today is National Nurses Day, part of National Nurses Week! At IWF, we send a big thank you to our nation’s 3.1 million nurses. These women and men have been on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic since day one. They risk their health to secure ours.

Modern nursing was established by Florence Nightingale, a British woman who led a group of female nurses to deliver medical services to soldiers during the Crimean War in 1854. Nightingale brought women formally into the world of patient care by establishing nurse education programs in a number of British hospitals. In addition, she implemented handwashing and hygiene practices that are credited with saving lives. Handwashing is still an effective strategy in the fight against infections and viruses like the coronavirus today.

Fast Facts

Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

$75,330 per year – 2020 Median Income

3.1 million – Number of jobs in 2019

7% – Employment growth rate over next decade

Nurses provide care in a variety of setting including hospitals, doctors’ offices, and private homes.

COVID-19 and nursing

Early in the coronavirus pandemic outbreak, the burgeoning number of sick patients threatened to overwhelm our healthcare system. Hospitals in the epicenter of the outbreak, such as in New York and New Jersey, faced a shortage of health professionals.

Out of duty, medical professionals nationwide answered the call to go and help. Traveling nurses, who routinely take assignments in other regions or states, went to hard-hit areas to relieve the overworked medical professionals.

Usually, the paperwork and red tape required to secure permission to work in a state other than the one a nurse is licensed in could hold up the process for weeks or longer. However, due to the emergency nature of the situation, states and governors temporarily relaxed licensing requirements to permit out-of-state nurses and medical professionals to practice in their states.

Our Chasing Work campaign profiled nurses from across the country who lent their time and expertise to hard-hit regions:

The pandemic may be on the way out, but we cannot go back to business as usual. Reforms that reduce the barriers for medical professionals to serve wherever needed should be made permanent.

National Nurses Day 2021: Here’s how much nurses make

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National Nurses Day, on Thursday, is a chance for Americans to celebrate and appreciate nurses – especially after their hard work and dedication to caring for people during the coronavirus pandemic over the last year.

Thursday also kicks off Nurses Week, which ends on May 12, the birthday of modern nursing founder Florence Nightingale.

Not only are nurses essential to health care, but they are also the most trusted medical professionals, according to a December 2020 Gallup poll. The poll found that 89% of Americans ranked the honesty and ethical standards of nurses as “very high” and “high.”

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For National Nurses Day, many companies are showing their appreciation for nurses with giveaways and other discounts. For example, Chipotle is giving away free burritos to 250,000 health care workers this month and on Thursday, Dunkin’ is offering free medium coffees to health care workers who can show their ID.

Meanwhile, Crocs promised to give 10,000 pairs of its “Crocs at Work” shoes to health care professionals for five days, starting on May 10.

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Last year, nurses saw a slight increase in salary, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

In 2020, the median annual salary for registered nurses was $75,330 per year, while the median hourly pay rate was $36.22 per hour. That’s up from 2019, when nurses’ median annual salary was $73,300 and their median hourly pay rate was $35.24, FOX Business reported last year.

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According to a survey by Nurse.org, a majority (81%) of nurses are paid hourly, while only 19% are salaried. The survey found that salaried nurses tend to be in administrative roles, while nurses who work directly with patients tend to be hourly.

However, nurses do receive additional compensation such as overtime, shift differentials, bonuses and expenses, Nurse.org found, with overtime being the most common.

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The job outlook for registered nurses seems to be pretty good, according to the BLS. The agency estimates that registered nurse jobs will grow 7% through 2029, which is “faster than the average for all occupations,” the BLS said.

Officials recognize area nurses on National Nurses Day

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