The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) would like to mark National Nurses Day by thanking all the hard-working nurses for their continued dedication during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We greatly appreciate all that you, as critically important health professionals, do to keep Oklahomans healthy,” said Health Commissioner Gary Cox. “Especially during this pandemic, you provide unwavering care for us at all hours and often behind the scenes. National Nurses Day is a great opportunity to raise awareness of your important role.”

National Nurses Day was established in 1954 to mark the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s contribution to the field of medicine. Nightingale is often credited as the founder of modern nursing, as she is responsible for many of the standards that are required of present-day nurses, including strict hand-washing and hygiene practices.

Today, nursing remains one of the most popular careers in the United States. According to a 2014 study conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses made up the largest portion of the healthcare workforce in the United States. In Oklahoma, there are over 56,000 Registered Nurses (RNs), 18,000 Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and 3,572 Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs).

The OSDH would like to encourage everyone to show appreciation for the nurses in their lives today, and through the rest of National Nursing Week, which concludes on May 12.

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