National Nurses Week recognizes front-line workers during COVID-19

NOW: National Nurses Week recognizes front-line workers during COVID-19


MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Wednesday, May 6, kicks off National Nurses Week, and this year it has extra significance as nurses are on the front lines helping during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Milwaukee VA Medical Center employs about 1,200 nurses, and they have treated 86 patients with COVID-19. 

According to the Wisconsin Nurses Association (WNA), this year's theme is "Inspire, Innovate, and Influence." 

Due to the pandemic, the WNA will focus on resiliency, self care and professional development of nurses. 

The WNA is offering webinars for nurses on their website. 

There are 90,000 nurses and 26,000 LPNS across Wisconsin. 

The VA Medical staff says they've had to be innovative with the coronavirus outbreak. 

"We’re on the front-lines in a very different way. Donning PPE, having to be pristine on infection control principles. It really has challenged nursing and I think it’s elevated our game," said Dr. Annette Severson, Associate Director of Patient Care Services. 

Nurses say they've had added stress on the job with the pandemic. 

"It’s really been an experience we couldn’t prepare for emotionally I don’t think. As a ICU nurse, we come in and take care of the sickest patients and are used to difficult situations, but this has been a whole new level of stress just not knowing too much about the virus and learning as we go with our physicians," RN Katie Dooley said. 

National Nurses Week runs until Tuesday, May 12. 

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