National Nurses Week is celebrated each year from May 6-12, ending on the day of Florence Nightingale’s birthday. The theme for the 2022 celebration has been ‘Nurses: A Voice to Lead’ — an important signifier of the vital role nurses play in caring and advocating for patients.
Many recent studies have found that nurses are facing increased stress and suffering, and two years of the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated these issues related to mental health and wellbeing. At times, nurses find themselves in a ‘tug of war’ between taking care of themselves and taking care of others and often face stigma in the workplace when seeking mental health support.
National Nurses Week happens to fall during Mental Health Awareness Month. Four University of Michigan School of Nursing experts joined Michigan Minds for a special series to explore these issues, share insight from their research, and discuss ways community members can provide support to the nursing workforce.
Christopher Friese, PhD, is professor at the U-M School of Nursing and the director of the Center for Improving Patient and Population Health (CIPPH). His research focuses in two areas—measuring and enhancing the quality of cancer care delivery and understanding and improving the delivery of nursing care to a variety of patients. He talks about the exhaustion, strain, and stress that nurses face and the importance of reducing the stigma associated with nurses and other health care professionals accessing mental health support.
Lauren Ghazal, PhD, is a postdoctoral research fellow at the U-M School of Nursing Center for Improving Patient and Population Health (CIPPH) and the Rogel Cancer Center. As a nurse practitioner and current researcher, she provides insight on the challenges that nurses have been and are currently facing and offers resources regarding mental health support for healthcare workers.
Clayton Shuman, PhD, assistant professor in the U-M School of Nursing, talks about his research using science frameworks and methods to focus on reducing health disparities and improving care for vulnerable populations. He also discusses the significance of recognizing National Nurses Week.
Matthew Davis, PhD, associate professor at the U-M School of Nursing and Department of Learning Health Sciences at the University of Michigan Michigan Medicine School, describes the significance of recognizing nurses and the work that they do and the major role nurses play as the backbone of health care delivery. As a health services researcher, Davis studies health care and health policies, leveraging large sources of data to study important policy-relevant issues.