AFT Lifts Up Tireless, Essential Work of Nurses During National Nurses Week
Sarah Hager Mosby
WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement thanking the country’s nurses during National Nurses Week. The AFT is the nation’s fastest-growing healthcare union, representing more than 200,000 nurses and healthcare professionals:
“National Nurses Week celebrates the tireless, dedicated work of our country’s nurses, who often put their own safety and well-being on the line to care for the sick, injured and aging. They deserve our enduring thanks and respect—not just this week, but every single day of the year. Through the pandemic and beyond, nurses and other health professionals have devoted themselves to a grueling profession with compassion and perseverance, but despite their continued dedication, our healthcare workforce is in crisis. Backbreaking shortages, terrifying workplace safety issues and dizzying schedules are impairing patient care and creating more stress and burnout for our nurses. They are exhausted and emotionally drained and have sacrificed far beyond their job descriptions to provide patients with dignified and empathetic care, often in trying, and even traumatic, environments. They care for our communities, and it’s time we care for them.
“This Nurses Week, we must do more than make signs and cheer for our nurses and healthcare professionals; we must acknowledge that their working conditions are patients’ healing conditions. Here at the AFT, we are committed to our Code Red campaign, a $1 million national, multiyear effort focused on creating safe patient ratios and staffing limits, and supporting our healthcare workforce through federal and state legislation, collective bargaining, student loan relief, and additional investment in recruitment and training. Our nurses need sustained professional respect and enforceable safety standards, and their work must be recognized and celebrated today and always.”
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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.