WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement thanking the country’s nurses during National Nurses Week. The AFT represents more than 200,000 nurses and healthcare professionals:
“As we begin National Nurses Week, we are reminded how over the last two years, nurses and other health professionals have devoted themselves to a grueling profession with compassion and perseverance. But nursing was a difficult job long before the pandemic began; today, our nursing workforce is exhausted, emotionally drained and has sacrificed far beyond their job description to provide patients with dignified and empathetic care, often in traumatic and trying environments. But despite backbreaking shortages, terrifying workplace safety issues and dizzying schedules, nurses remain at the bedside of strangers, providing care for our communities when they need it most.
“More than applause, our nurses need sustained professional respect and enforceable safety standards, which underscore that their working conditions are patients’ healing conditions. Our nurses are true lifesavers, and their work must be recognized and celebrated today and always.”