It's National Nurses Week, a time to focus attention on the many ways the nation's nurses work to save lives and improve the health of millions. The American Red Cross recognizes the more than 15,000 nurses and student nurses who serve the organization today, volunteering their time and service to help others.
Nurses have been part of the American Red Cross for more than 125 years, starting with the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1888. Today nurses serve directly as part of Red Cross disaster response teams, at health fairs, volunteering in military clinics and hospitals, manning first aid stations and promoting blood donations.
Nurses also teach and help develop different courses like CPR and First Aid, Disaster Health Services, Nurse Assistant Training, Babysitting and Family Caregiving. They serve in management and supervisory roles in Red Cross chapters and blood regions and in leadership roles on local Red Cross boards and the national Board of Governors.
Recently, American Red Cross National Nursing Committee representatives met with their counterparts from the Canadian Red Cross to discuss what each organizations nurses do to help communities today, and explore different possibilities based on programs in the two countries.
The highest honor of national nursing achievement in the American Red Cross is the Ann Magnussen Award, presented annually to a volunteer or employed registered nurse who has made an outstanding contribution to strengthening or improving Red Cross programs and services. This year the award was presented to Vivian Littlefield, PhD, RN, FAAN, of Madison, Wisconsin.
If you are an RN or LPN/ LVN consider becoming a Red Cross volunteer. Student nurses are also welcome. Contact the American Red Cross of Southwestern New York in Jamestown at 664-5115, in Olean at 372-5800, or in Wellsville at 585-593-1531 to learn about volunteer openings in your community.