On the second Thursday of June, we get the opportunity to celebrate the nursing assistants that make hospitals and nursing facilities tick. CNAs have unique and demanding jobs based on their specialty and the facility they work at. June 17th to June 23rd is a time we have this year to say “thank you” for all the difficult work that nursing assistants do to care for our families and loved ones.
National Nursing Assistants Week and the Pandemic
Nurses, doctors, and CNAs rushed to respond to the needs of people affected with or those at risk for COVID-19, whether the demand was in hospitals or long-term and post-acute care facilities.
During this time, CNAs were desperately needed to staff the floors and provide basic care to residents in nursing homes and hospitals. When nursing homes took in patients from hospitals that were likely infected with COVID-19, there just weren’t enough caregivers to meet the demand.
Many nursing professionals took leave due to the life-threatening risk of managing COVID-19 patients. Many states relaxed the certification requirements so that brave men and women could answer the call to care for patients in an at-risk environment. All at once, these caregivers, whether freshly administered or seasoned veterans, had to go through the most difficult nursing challenges, dealing with the loss of many residents, many of whom were unable to see their families in person in their final days.
Most of these brave nursing assistants had a reason of their own to help those in need. Many lost their family members to the virus, driving them to work on the front lines of the pandemic.
Why Do We Celebrate National Nursing Assistants Week?
Due to the toll that the COVID-19 pandemic took on them, many nursing professionals are leaving the caregiving profession. Low staffing levels, demanding working environments, stagnant pay, and lack of career advancement all contribute to burnout among nursing professionals. But for many, COVID-19 was the last straw.
We celebrate National Nursing Assistants Week to remind our nursing assistants that their work is crucial to us and crucial to our family members who need quality care. We celebrate National Nursing Assistants Week to remind ourselves that these men and women are important human beings that deserve more than a nod and a “thank you.” There is more we can do for CNAs, and there is a lot of work to be done to improve the caregiving industry.
How Did National Nursing Assistants Week Start?
Since 1977, we’ve had a week to celebrate and give thanks to the nursing assistants whose work to provide quality care to our loved ones is essential.
During World War I, the 8,000 US Army Nurses deployed had nursing assistants – people who were compelled to support US soldiers, even if they weren’t registered nurses – to help provide life-saving care to those fighting for their country.
These nurses and nursing assistants in the Red Cross program earned the title “Healthcare Hero” for their courage and compassion working on the front line and in civilian hospitals. Since then, the CNA job came home to the US with a new goal on US soil: long-term care.
The Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1987, signed by President Ronald Regan, aimed to increase the standard of care in nursing homes. This called for an increase in staffing levels and an increase in demand for CNAs that would ensure a high quality of care for each patient. By having more personnel to provide practical knowledge of caregiving along with a heart of compassion, post-acute and senior care facilities could deliver quality care to each of their residents.
Here’s What We’re Doing For National Nursing Assistants Week
This year for CNA week, we’re offering a $1,000 Prize for our Healthcare Heroes story submission awards, providing a platform for our healthcare heroes to make their stories heard while supporting their goals with the opportunity to earn more. Learn more about our Healthcare Heroes Initiative here. We’re also introducing a new CNA Prize for ten CNAs to get the chance to win $100 gift cards!
This year, Juneteenth falls in the middle of National Nursing Assistants Week. So we’re taking the opportunity to celebrate diversity by highlighting our CNA IntleyPros and team members who identify as persons of color, supporting their efforts to promote inclusivity, and giving them a platform to share their story.
Our goal is to empower you to pursue your dreams. That’s why we’re also excited to offer our Healthcare Heroes Scholarship Program for nursing professionals looking to further their careers at the nursing school of their choice. We’re sponsoring $5,000 towards one exceptional nursing professional looking to get a higher-education degree in nursing or a nursing-related field. Learn more and apply to our Scholarship Program here.
We’re also offering a Virtual Yoga Class for International Yoga Day! Providing freedom and flexibility to our IntelyPros is what we’re all about. So let’s get flexible by taking Monday, June 21st to relax and destress with a virtual yoga class for CNAs!
Along with the freedom and flexibility we provide to our CNAs and nursing professionals, we also offer quality employee benefits that our per diem IntelyPros and team members both have access to. See more about our employee benefits to our IntelyPros here!
To learn more about our Nursing Assistants Week initiatives, go to our Nursing Assistants Week Page!
Are you a nursing professional looking for more freedom and flexibility? Apply to become an IntelyPro today!
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