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Thank a Nurse!

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From Andrea Higham, Director, the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future

Nurses are truly amazing.  They make up a profession which is one of the most challenging, but they do it with skill, grace and professionalism. They serve as society’s caregivers and are basically the backbone of healthcare in this country. The level of care, comfort and support nurses provide to patients (and their families) is simply unsurpassed. And quite frequently it’s the nurse who patients remember most fondly about their entire healthcare experience. Good nursing really does make a difference!

Although I’m not a nurse, I’ve been so fortunate to personally and professionally work with this noble profession as part of the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future.

According to recent data, enrollments in nursing schools are up, which is very encouraging! This is certainly due, in part, to the hundreds of partnerships that the Campaign has been fortunate enough to be involved in over the last few years.

Since 2002, the Campaign has attracted more than 750,000 men and women to discover nursing and enter the profession. We’ve distributed more than 30 million pieces of recruitment materials in English and Spanish, including brochures, posters and videos, to many junior high schools, career centers and community health centers, as well as to every high school, nursing school, hospital and nursing organization in the country. We’ve also raised more than $17 million in funds to support student scholarships, faculty fellowships and nursing school grants.

As we approach the Campaign’s 10th anniversary early next year, we’re taking the opportunity to further engage nurses and members of the community-at-large to honor and show continued support and appreciation for our nursing workforce.

It’s National Nurses Week (May 6-12), and it’s a perfect time to pause and celebrate this incredible profession and all that nurses do for each of us.  We’ve launched several new exciting programs and resources for nurses. It’s a wonderful time to Thank A Nurse.

The Campaign is airing three television commercials which feature real nurses and the important role they play for their patients.  In these spots, nurses demonstrate both the medical expertise they have, but also the emotional comfort they provide as well. Nurses truly do Heal.  And, while these ads have only been on air a short time, they’re already generating a really positive response.  I invite you to check them out on our Nursing playlist on the Johnson & Johnson Health Channel on YouTube.

We know nurses are always taking care of others, but they need to take care of themselves, too! The Campaign is offering a complimentary stress-management CE module available to all nurses. The module, “From 'Distress' to 'De-stress' with Stress Management,” is designed to teach nurses valuable stress relief skills for personal well-being.   We also know another great way to de-stress is to just take simply take a break, decompress, unwind and do something fun!  This week, the Campaign also announced the availability of its first ever mobile application, called Happy Nurse™.  Nurses, nursing students or anyone interested in nursing can play online at It will also be available soon in the iTunes App Store.

The Campaign also recently partnered with the Urban Zen Integrative Therapy (UZIT) program - founded by fashion designer Donna Karan – to engage and focus nurses on their own well-being and personal health as well as to train their peers. And last week, the Campaign awarded several qualified nurses scholarships to UZIT to begin their training.

The “Thank A Nurse” momentum will continue next month when the Campaign launches “Nurse Heroes”, an initiative that invites the public to submit nominations for nurses who really make a difference. Outstanding nurses will be recognized in conjunction with the CNN Heroes program later this year.

Please take a moment to thank the nurses in your lives by posting a thank you note on the Nursing Notes by Johnson & Johnson Facebook Page. And while you’re there, click the “Thank A Nurse” tab to change your profile picture to our new “Thank A Nurse” digital badge, or tweet about a time when a nurse helped you using the hashtags: #NNW2011 and #ThankaNurse.

I’m thankful every day for the commitment, the compassion and the expertise that our nurses bring to patient care. Please join me in celebrating and thanking all of our nurses, not just during National Nurses Week, but every day.

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