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"Nurses: Advocating, Leading, Caring"

U.S. Air Force Capt. Julie Glover attaches leads to Staff Sgt. David Frederick in preparation for an electrocardiogram test at the 4th Medical Group on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., May 8, 2012. Glover uses the ECG to search for diseases, monitor medicine effects and reveal abnormal rhythms of the heart. Glover, 4th Medical Operations Squadron physician’s assistant, is from Whitehall, Pa. Frederick, 4th Medical Operations Squadron medical technician, is a native of Lake Charles, La. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Nieves Camacho/Released)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Julie Glover attaches leads to Staff Sgt. David Frederick in preparation for an electrocardiogram test at the 4th Medical Group on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., May 8, 2012. Glover uses the ECG to search for diseases, monitor medicine effects and reveal abnormal rhythms of the heart. Glover, 4th Medical Operations Squadron physician’s assistant, is from Whitehall, Pa. Frederick, 4th Medical Operations Squadron medical technician, is a native of Lake Charles, La. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Nieves Camacho/Released)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Bret Lesueur examines Senior Airman Christopher Cavin’s hand during sick call at the 4th Medical Group on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., May 9, 2012. Sick call, only open to active duty, enables the member to be triaged for illnesses that may prevent them from going to work. Lesueur, 4th Medical Operations Squadron flight commander, is from Orange County, Calif. Cavins, 4th Contracting Squadron contract specialist, hails from South Rockwood, Mich. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Nieves Camacho/Released)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Bret Lesueur examines Senior Airman Christopher Cavin’s hand during sick call at the 4th Medical Group on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., May 9, 2012. Sick call, only open to active duty, enables the member to be triaged for illnesses that may prevent them from going to work. Lesueur, 4th Medical Operations Squadron flight commander, is from Orange County, Calif. Cavins, 4th Contracting Squadron contract specialist, hails from South Rockwood, Mich. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Nieves Camacho/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Janna Harina checks Senior Airman Reginald Graves’ temperature with a thermometer probe at the 4th Medical Group on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., May 8, 2012. Along with taking patients’ temperatures Harina also checks their weight and records their blood pressure. Harina, 4th Medical Operations Squadron medical technician, is from San Diego. Graves, 4th Component Maintenance Squadron test measurement diagnostic equipment technician, is a native of Raleigh, N.C. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Nieves Camacho/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Janna Harina checks Senior Airman Reginald Graves’ temperature with a thermometer probe at the 4th Medical Group on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., May 8, 2012. Along with taking patients’ temperatures Harina also checks their weight and records their blood pressure. Harina, 4th Medical Operations Squadron medical technician, is from San Diego. Graves, 4th Component Maintenance Squadron test measurement diagnostic equipment technician, is a native of Raleigh, N.C. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Nieves Camacho/Released)

Carissa Morris prepares to take a patient’s vital signs at the 4th Medical Group on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., May 8, 2012. Vital signs consist of the patient’s body temperature, pulse rate, respiration rate and blood pressure. Morris, 4th Medical Operations Squadron medical technician, is from Grand Forks, N.D. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Nieves Camacho/Released)

Carissa Morris prepares to take a patient’s vital signs at the 4th Medical Group on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., May 8, 2012. Vital signs consist of the patient’s body temperature, pulse rate, respiration rate and blood pressure. Morris, 4th Medical Operations Squadron medical technician, is from Grand Forks, N.D. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Nieves Camacho/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Janna Harina annotates information on a patient’s chart during a check-up at the 4th Medical Group on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., May 8, 2012. Information such as pain level, medications, surgical history and allergies are routinely noted for a better understanding of the patient’s needs. Harina, 4th Medical Operations Squadron medical technician, is from San Diego. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Nieves Camacho/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Janna Harina annotates information on a patient’s chart during a check-up at the 4th Medical Group on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., May 8, 2012. Information such as pain level, medications, surgical history and allergies are routinely noted for a better understanding of the patient’s needs. Harina, 4th Medical Operations Squadron medical technician, is from San Diego. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Nieves Camacho/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Bridget Williams instructs Airman Mario Poe on how to properly walk with crutches at the 4th Medical Group on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., May 8, 2012. Patients with an injury that limits their walking ability use crutches as a mobility assistant. Williams, 4th Medical Operations Squadron medical technician, is from Little Falls, Minn. Poe, 335th Aircraft Maintenance Unit avionics technician, hails from Memphis, Tenn. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Nieves Camacho/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Bridget Williams instructs Airman Mario Poe on how to properly walk with crutches at the 4th Medical Group on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., May 8, 2012. Patients with an injury that limits their walking ability use crutches as a mobility assistant. Williams, 4th Medical Operations Squadron medical technician, is from Little Falls, Minn. Poe, 335th Aircraft Maintenance Unit avionics technician, hails from Memphis, Tenn. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Nieves Camacho/Released)

National Nurses Week is an internationally celebrated event that recognizes the hard work nursing teams around the world do on a daily basis. The week was first observed in 1954, marking the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale's mission to Crimea. Nightingale is known as the founder of modern nursing. (Photo courtesy of Library of Congress)

National Nurses Week is an internationally celebrated event that recognizes the hard work nursing teams around the world do on a daily basis. The week was first observed in 1954, marking the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale's mission to Crimea. Nightingale is known as the founder of modern nursing. (Photo courtesy of Library of Congress)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Kelsey Rayburn secures a blood pressure cuff to Senior Airman Christopher Cavin’s arm during sick call at the 4th Medical Group on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., May 9, 2012. Prior to being seen by the physician it is mandatory for each patient to have their vital signs taken. Rayburn, 4th Medical Operations Squadron medical technician, is from Hagerstown, Ind. Cavins, 4th Contracting Squadron contract specialist, hails from South Rockwood, Mich. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Nieves Camacho/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Kelsey Rayburn secures a blood pressure cuff to Senior Airman Christopher Cavin’s arm during sick call at the 4th Medical Group on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., May 9, 2012. Prior to being seen by the physician it is mandatory for each patient to have their vital signs taken. Rayburn, 4th Medical Operations Squadron medical technician, is from Hagerstown, Ind. Cavins, 4th Contracting Squadron contract specialist, hails from South Rockwood, Mich. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Nieves Camacho/Released)

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- Each year nurses around the world are recognized for their effort in keeping the world healthy during National Nurses Week, May 6-12.

National Nurses Week is an internationally celebrated event that was first observed in 1954, marking the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale's mission to Crimea, a peninsula south of the Ukraine.

On October 14, 1854, Nightingale offered her services to the War Office but her friend Sidney Herbert, the Secretary of War, already had written to her. Herbert suggested that Nightingale go to Crimea due to the war which began in March of that year.

Nightingale decided to accept the request and left for Crimea on the 21st of October with thirty-eight nurses. Nightingale's official title was Superintendent of the Female Nurses in the Hospitals in the East, in short 'The Lady in Chief.'

Upon arrival Nightingale and her team realized the harsh conditions and low sanitation levels of the hospital barracks at Scutari. In their notes they said that there was no soap, towels or clothes for the patients. There was no milk or water and the bread and butter were not safe to eat.

Looking past the behaviors of the orderlies, the women quickly established a kitchen and laundry facility. They also took on the responsibility of looking after the soldiers' wives and children, providing them their daily necessities.

Nightingale worked for 20 hours a day alongside her nurses. She became the only female allowed to be in the wards after 8 p.m., giving her the title 'Lady of the Lamp.'

Nightingale made the poor conditions of the facility known which encouraged the War Office to order the sanitary commission at Scutari to complete sanitary reforms immediately. After this order the death rate went from 42 to 2 percent.

In 1982, the American Nurses Association formally set May 6th as "National Nurses Day." A month later, President Ronald Regan officially signed "National Recognition Day for Nurses" into effect. In 1990, the ANA expanded the celebration and permanently established "National Nurses Week," beginning each year on May 6th and ending May 12th, Nightingale's birthday.

The ANA week theme for 2012 is "Nurses: Advocating, Leading, Caring."
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