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National Nursing Week 2021 highlights the role of these Canadian health professionals

#WeAnswerTheCall is this year’s theme

CNA’s National Nursing Week digital poster

At a time when Ontario is accelerating the mass vaccination process of the population, as a weapon to combat Covid-19, in a particularly difficult social and economic context, the role of health professionals in this fight is not forgotten.

This Monday marks the beginning of the National Nursing Week recognized across Canada, between May 10th and May 16th, 2021. The annual celebration takes place during the same week as Florence Nightingale’s birthday (May 12th).

According to the Canadian Nurses Association, the theme this year is #WeAnswerTheCall and was developed by CNA “to showcase the many roles that nurses play in a patient’s health-care journey”.

“The week draws attention to nurses, increasing the awareness of the public, policymakers, and governments of the many contributions of nursing to the well-being of Canadians”, says the CNA on its website.

In a statement, the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence stressed that since the start of the pandemic, Canada’s nurses have shown tremendous courage as they have cared for patients and combatted COVID-19. “Nurses are the heart of our health care community, and they play an absolutely vital role in keeping Canadians safe and healthy, often while putting their own health at risk”, says Lawrence MacAulay.

In 1974, the International Council of Nurses designated May 12th, the birthday of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale, as International Nurses Day.

In 1985, CNA members passed a resolution to begin negotiations with the federal government to have the week containing May 12 proclaimed as National Nurses Week annually.

The Canadian Nurses Association, however, says the name was changed to National Nursing Week in 1993, “to emphasize the profession’s accomplishments as a discipline”.

Going back to the present time, the CNA adds that this year, the pandemic brought to light the courage and commitment that nurses work under every day and showed the important role that nurses play in the community.

For the president of the International Council of Nurses (ICN), Annette Kennedy, “this global COVID-19 pandemic has shown the world the important role that nurses play in keeping people healthy across the lifespan”. ■

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