Message on the Observance of National Nurses Week, May 1 - 7, 1988


April 29, 1988


I am delighted to send warmest greetings to everyone celebrating National Nurses Week, especially to America's dedicated corps of nursing professionals.


One has only to imagine for a moment a world without nurses to realize how vital their services are. In hospitals and ambulatory settings, in the inner city, in rural and metropolitan communities, in homes and on military posts -- wherever a need exists -- nurses are there working diligently to serve and to protect the health of our people. It's not an easy task. Nurses work all hours and long hours, respond to shortages of nursing personnel, and face many other adverse conditions.


No medical staff person spends more time with individual patients than nurses do. In addition to their technical skills, they must bring to their duty stations a generous dose of compassion in dealing with patients who are severely ill and in need not only of constant care but also of emotional support and encouragement. To perform their tasks in a rapidly changing scientific environment, nurses must continually study to keep abreast of developments in the health care field.


Nurses have responded to these challenges with the highest commitment to excellence, helping make all of us the beneficiaries of the finest health care in the world. For this they deserve our profound gratitude and respect.


Nancy and I gladly salute our Nation's nurses during this special week of recognition. God bless you.


Ronald Reagan