/ Stories

From the CEO: National Nursing Week 2020


“Let us each and all, realizing the importance of our influence on others – stand shoulder to shoulder – and not alone, in good cause”  - Florence Nightingale (1883)
A woman smiles into the camera, a river behind her.
Northern Health Chief Executive Officer Cathy Ulrich.

The World Health Organization has recognized 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. This year also marks the bicentenary of the birth of Florence Nightingale – someone who dedicated her life to the practice of nursing and to improving health care. In Canada, May 11 to 17 is designated as National Nursing Week. This year’s theme, “Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Nursing the World to Health,” is in recognition of the contributions nurses make to health, well-being, and enabling people to overcome health challenges.  

2020 has brought unprecedented health challenges to the global community in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in a sequence of events that have impacted all aspects of our lives. This pandemic has profiled the vital importance of nursing practice, whether in long-term care facilities, community settings, and acute care facilities or in nursing education, nursing administration, and nursing research.

Each day before the pandemic and throughout it, nurses across the North have provided compassionate care and services to people and their families. As the pandemic has unfolded, I have been heartened to hear the many stories about how nurses and their health care colleagues have responded to the needs of people with courage, innovation, and compassion.

Over this Nursing Week, I encourage you to find a nurse and hear their story (perhaps virtually), about why this is their chosen career. I suspect you will be impressed and encouraged!

On behalf of Northern Health, thank you to the nurses across Northern Health for their commitment to the profession of nursing and to serving the people of Northern BC!