Nursing has been and continues to be an integral part of the American Red Cross…The work of America’s 3.1 million registered nurses to save lives and maintain the health of millions of individuals is the focus of this year’s National Nurses Week, celebrated annually May 6-12 throughout the United States.
The American Red Cross supports and encourages National Nurses Week recognition programs through its State Nurse Liaison Network, representing over 20,000 nurses in our organization in positions of disaster response, preparedness planning, and leadership responsibilities.
Annually, National Nurses Week begins on May 6, marked as RN Recognition Day, and ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, founder of nursing as a modern profession. Traditionally, National Nurses Week is devoted to highlighting the diverse ways in which registered nurses, the largest health care profession, are working to improve health care. From bedside nursing in hospitals and long-term care facilities to the halls of research institutions, state legislatures, and Congress, the depth and breadth of the nursing profession is meeting the expanding health care needs of American society.
Frequently Asked Question: Why are nurses so important to the American Red Cross?
Nurses have always been a cornerstone for the provision of services by the American Red Cross.
Historically, Red Cross nurses have provided their assistance during times of disaster and conflict beginning with the 1889 Johnstown floods and the 1888 Yellow Fever epidemic. The Red Cross Nursing Service was formally established by Jane Delano in 1909. Red Cross nursing has also had a major role in the historical evolution of nursing and nursing leadership in the United States with many Red Cross nurses, including Jane Delano, Clara Noyes, Julia Stimson and others playing strategic roles in the development of American nursing…
Nurse Involvement Today… More than 20,000 nurses continue to be involved in paid and volunteer capacities at all levels and in all service areas throughout the American Red Cross. These activities consist of:
- Providing direct services: e.g. local Disaster Action Teams (DAT), Health Fairs, volunteer in military clinics and hospitals, promoting blood collection team, first aid stations
- Teaching and developing courses: CPR/First Aid, Automatic emergency Defibrillator(AED), Disaster Health Services, Nurse Assistant Training, Babysitting, Family Caregiving
- Acting in management and supervisory roles: including Chapter and Blood Services region executives
- Functioning in governance roles: local board member to national Board of Governors
Learn more about…
- The History and Organization of the Red Cross Nursing Service
- Nursing Students involvement in Red Cross service delivery
- Jane Delano Founder of the American Red Cross Nursing Service
Filed under: Volunteers