Date published: May 4, 2012
CDC and other public health agencies are honoring nurses during National Nurses Week, May 6-12, 2012. This years theme is "Nurses: Advocating, Leading, Caring."
The nursing profession plays a critical role in improving patient outcomes, increasing access, coordinating care, and reducing health-care costs. The Affordable Care Act and the Institute of Medicine's Future of Nursing report place nurses at the center of health-care transformation in the United States. Numerous studies have shown that patients fare worse when nurse staffing is inadequate, with poorer health outcomes, more complications, less satisfaction, and greater likelihood of death. A 201 1 report linked inadequate nurse staffing with increased patient mortality (1).
Hospitals remain the most common employment setting for registered nurses (RNs) in the United States, increasing from 57.4% of employed RNs in 2004 to 62.2% in 2008. Vaccination providers or those who supervise vaccination providers typically are nurses. In 20 1 1 , in the annual Gallup poll, nurses were rated the most trusted profession in United States for the 12th time in 13 years (2). Nurses' honesty and ethics were rated "very high" or "high" by 84% of poll respondents.
Additional information about National Nurses Week is available at http://nursingworld.org/functionalmenucategories/ aboutana/nationalnursesweek. Additional information about the American Nurses Association's immunization activities is available at http://www.anaimmunize.org.
1. Needleman J, Buerhaus P, Pankratz VS, Leibson CL, Stevens SR, Harris M. Nurse staffing and inpatient hospital mortality. N Engl J Med 2011; 364:1037-45.
2. Gallup. Ratings of nurses, pharmacists, and medical doctors most positive. Washington, DC: Gallup; 2011. Available at http://www.gallup.com/ poll/151460/record-rate-honesty-ethics-members-congress-low.aspx. Accessed April 27, 2012.