National Nurses Day at YMCA

The Washington County Family YMCA will be honoring the amazing Nurses in our community on National Nurses Day by offering FREE facility guest passes to all nursing staff.

National Nurses Day is celebrated annually on May 6th to raise awareness of the important role nurses play in society. It marks the beginning of National Nurses Week, which ends on May 12th, the birthday of Florence Nightingale.

Florence Nightingale, the famous nursing pioneer who brought respect innovation to the field, was born in Florence Italy on May 12th, 1820.  Expected to marry into a wealthy family by her parents, Florence contrarily felt called by God serve as a nurse to the sick.  Her parents were horrified by this, because at that time nursing was not a respectable job and conditions in hospitals were dreadful. 

Driven to better others rather than herself, Florence went to Germany to train as a nurse.  She was given her first post reorganizing a small London hospital, where she did an excellent job of bettering the facility.

As a result of her work, the Secretary of War invited her to go on a mission to help wounded soldiers. Florence found a great number of soldiers were dying in military hospitals because they were dirty and diseased. She worked very long hours to bring order and cleanliness to the hospitals, and became a heroine to the British public.

Florence Nightingale was commissioned to investigate the living conditions of British soldiers in peacetime.  From this, she published her findings as Notes on Matters Affecting the Health, Efficiency and Hospital Administration of the British Army.  Her writing, in addition to the Nightingale Training School for Nurses that she opened, greatly raised standards of nursing.  Nightingale was awarded the prestigious Order of Merit, and died three years later on August 13th, 1910.

 “It takes a special person to be a nurse,” said Rosie Morehous, Youth First Director of the Washington County Family YMCA.  “Nurses—on a daily basis—sacrifice themselves for the betterment of others.  Many times, they do not take the time to care for themselves in order to care for others.  On National Nurses Day, the YMCA would like to open our doors to these fine men and women to encourage them to take time for themselves.  We want to help care for those who care for our community.”

The Y will be open on Wednesday, May the 6th, from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and encourages all nurses to come out and get a little TLC on National Nurses Day.  The fitness center and all group exercise classes will be offered free of charge to nursing staff.  Silver Sneakers Yoga, H.I.T.T. It!, Zumba, and Abs Express classes will be offered that day, and Kids Club services will be free of charge from 4:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m. for nurses’ children.