During the first week of May, nurses at many New York hospitals took a break from their hectic schedules to celebrate Nurses Week, and the Registered Nurse Labor Management Initiative (RNLMI) participated in many of those celebrations. RNLMI representatives handed out collapsible RNLMI food storage containers and RNLMI umbrella tote bags to nurses at Northwell Health, St. Barnabas Hospital, Mount Sinai Health System, Montefiore Medical Center, New York Community Hospital and Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center. Gifts were also shipped to hospitals that RNLMI representatives were unable to visit, including Orange Regional Medical Center, Good Samaritan Hospital, Bon Secours Hospital, St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, Eastern Long Island Hospital and Southampton Hospital.

The American Nurses Association designated 2017 as The Year of the Healthy Nurse, so many Nurses Week activities focused on celebrating nurses who have led the charge for health and wellness. At Forest Hills Hospital in Queens, representatives from both labor and management collaborated on a touching skit displaying how nursing has changed throughout the years. Historical figures portrayed in the presentation included Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross; Harriet Tubman, the great civil rights activist, who served as a nurse for a time in the Civil War; and Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

St. Barnabas Hospital held a special awards ceremony honoring nurses for their dedication to helping patients and staff. “It is important to recognize our nurses for all of their hard work,” says St. Barnabas Nurse Educator Noreen Rosselli. The presentation also included self-care tips for nurses.

At Mount Sinai Beth Israel (MSBI), festivities included an afternoon of food, music and dancing, giving nurses from various units the opportunity to relax and unwind with their colleagues. On display was a quilt made in honor of Nurses Week by MSBI nurses, titled “The Power of Resilience,” which featured quotes from renowned activists, nurses and elected officials.

MSBI Nurse Educator Joy McIlvaine says Nurses Week is always a special time at her hospital. “We need to take the time and honor our nurses,” she says. “We have to let them know how much we appreciate them.”

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