The Year of the Nurse and Midwife: Nurses Share Their Thoughts, Feelings on 2020

To understand the impact of the pandemic, I asked clinical nurses to describe the 2020 The Year of the Nurse and Midwife in a few words. Everyone was eager to give a statement and many, many were very prideful for the nursing care done in 2020.

Several months ago, I wrote about the celebratory nature of the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. Since then, the COVID-19 pandemic stopped us in our tracks. Our focus has been changed, but not the pride in nursing and all that we are doing in 2020. Nurses and other health care workers are at the forefront of the COVID-19 response, providing high quality, respectful care, leading the conversation to address fears, misinformation and lead the world in the COVID-19 response. We are working and caring every day in every corner of world. The light shines brightly on us and the Year of the Nurse and Nurse Midwife.

To understand the impact of the pandemic, I asked clinical nurses to describe the 2020 The Year of the Nurse and Midwife in a few words. Everyone was eager to give a statement and many, many were very prideful for the nursing care done in 2020.

Below are some of the comments by nurses working at an academic medical center caring for many patients with cancer, as well as those with COVID-19.

1. “The Year of the Nurse and Midwife has shown me so much about human kindness and empathy.”

2. “Nurses show up and get the care done every day.”

3. “Nurses are adaptable.”

4. “Nurses are excellent change agents by making quick decisions. Got to get it done.”

5. “Nurses are proud to be frontline leaders.”

6. “When I started on the UCLA COVID-19 unit, I was anxious but so proud of me, my fellow nurses and my hospital. We all supported each other.”

7. “Nurses are the super star.”

8. “ I assisted my manager with the process of screening patients so that they could receive their chemotherapy — we were so innovative. I am proud to say we are keeping cancer patients safe every day.”

9. “I will never forget, and will be forever changed as a new nurse, helping COVID-19 patients die with dignity and love. What other profession gets to do that at their job? 2020 is really the year of the nurse.”

10. “The Year of the Nurse and Nurse Midwife- Changing from an OR nurse to a safety champion when all the surgeries were cancelled. I never worked anywhere but the OR. [It was] terrifying, but my nursing colleagues supported and educated me. It was an amazing experience.”

12. “2020 has been the biggest test to health care, especially in the acute care setting. I have witnessed nurses healing, creating and being so compassionate. Nurses have risen up and provided care beyond our own expectations. Throughout the chaos and changes, we have supported and loved each other. I have never witnessed so much kindness. That is what The Year of the Nurse means to me.”

11. “We are weary and anxious as the COVID-19 hospitalization numbers are on the rise, but we all are still here. We never stop caring and giving to all patients. I know we all need support, self-care, and not to ignore the feelings of burnout- seek help often, there is no shame in asking. The year of the Nurse is about also caring for you.”

The pride that arises from these often-fatigued nurses is so apparent and amazing. As we delay the celebration for the year of the nurse, we have not delayed our pride, our compassion and the ability to work in difficult situation. Thank you my fellow nurses, I proudly stand as a nurse of 37 years, and have never been prouder.

Be safe my friends.