Time to Celebrate National Nurses Week

Today marks the first day of the annual National Nurses Week, a time for everyone – individuals, employers, other health care professionals, and community leaders – to recognize the vast contributions and positive impact of America’s millions of nursing professionals. Each year, the celebration ends on May 12, Florence Nightingale's birthday.

“Our members in the nursing field make a difference every day,” said USW International President Leo Gerard. “They deserve to be recognized for their often-overlooked hard work in caring for our loved ones in their times of need.”

The USW is also using this week to raise awareness about the issues affecting the industry, especially safety. In the health care and social assistance sectors, 13 percent of days away from work were the result of violence in 2013, and this rate has increased in recent years.

Safe Jobs Now

This is why the union is launching a nationwide action to push for the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act. The bill would direct the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to update current legislation to ensure workplaces develop and implement violence prevention plans, which will significant impact health care workers, who experience violence on the job at rates 12 times higher than the overall work force.

“This legislation would do what health care workers have long needed, and that is for their employers to be held accountable,” said USW Vice President Fred Redmond. “An enforceable OSHA standard is the only way to guarantee that, and we look forward to pushing this bill through with the help of our dedicated union activists.”

Be on the lookout for postcards that were mailed to 1,800 local unions across all industries, along with instructions on how to sign and deliver them to U.S. Senators and the Secretary of Labor. This is a solvable problem, but it will take actions like this to get it done.

For more information about the groundbreaking campaign and how you can get involved, click here.

Who are USW Nurses?

The USW represents thousands of nurses across the United States and Canada, and they’re employed by hospitals, nursing homes, group homes, community care centers and other medical facilities. Some are public employees, others are private sector, but they all work with a common purpose – the welfare of their patients and the public. We want to take this time to celebrate their work and elevate their voices!

If your local is hosting an event or action in honor of National Nurses Week, please e-mail Tamara Lefcowitz at tlefcowitz@usw.org with any photos and information.

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-2446

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222