The theme for National Nursing Week this year is Our Nurses. Our Future.
The goal is to showcase the many roles that nurses play in a patient’s healthcare journey.
My take on this theme is this: if we do not urgently act to address our province’s dire nursing shortages, our future is precarious.
Nurses are the lifeblood of the health system and the heart of healthcare. Without nurses, everything would fall apart. Today, however, Saskatchewan’s health system hangs in balance.
It is becoming harder and harder for nurses to stay. Each day they enter increasingly chaotic workplaces, burdened with the growing moral injury of feeling like they can no longer provide the care they know their patients need.
We are in crisis, with severe shortages compromising patient safety. In a March 2023 survey of SUN members, 88% of registered nurses reported knowing of a time when patients were at risk due to short staffing. This should be terrifying for all of us.
Nurses have shaped our health system, helped influence and develop health policy and driven healthcare advancement throughout the years. Nurses have always been positioned to drive change; all leaders have to do is ask for our help. Today, nurses continue to advocate and care for patients through every stage of their healthcare journey.
Nurses are our past and our present, but most importantly, our future depends on our nurses.
The biggest show of gratitude we can all make this year for National Nursing Week is to let government decision-makers know that it is time to listen to nurses. It’s time to engage with nursing stakeholders — from educational institutions and regulatory bodies to unions and employers — to work together towards a healthier future for all.
Thank you to all of Saskatchewan’s amazing nurses – our nurses. Happy National Nursing Week!
Tracy Zambory, RN