LDH would like to recognize its nurses for the tremendous job they do each day in promoting public health and for the selfless care they provide during times of emergencies. This is National Nurses Week, May 6-12, set aside to honor all of America's 3.1 million registered nurses, including the more than 54,000 nurses in Louisiana. National Nurses Week is the time of year designated to recognize and celebrate these professionals and highlight the work they do every day to save lives and help people achieve better heath.

The Louisiana Department of Health alone employs nearly 800 nurses dedicated to upholding the department's mission of protecting and promoting the public's health. For the 11th straight year, registered nurses have been voted the most trusted profession in America in Gallup's annual survey.

The nurses at LDH provide childhood immunizations in parish health units throughout the state and offer direct patient care in behavioral health facilities and education and training. They support people with developmental disabilities and frail elders so they can remain in their homes, and work with individuals and families to prevent and properly treat chronic illnesses. Nurses are an integral part of Louisiana's health care system.

"Nurses are the backbone of public health," said LDH Interim Secretary Kathy Kliebert.  "Louisiana owes a debt of gratitude to our nurses for the front-line care they provide. Every day, LDH's dedicated nurses work to save lives and to improve the health quality of Louisianians." 

Nurses at LDH not only provide direct patient care but serve as policymakers and program managers, utilizing their patient care training and experience to improve health care delivery and allow the department to better serve the state's residents.

Media interested in doing profiles on individual LDH nursing staff should contact the Bureau of Media and Communications. To learn more about the various nursing services the department offers, visit www.dhh.louisiana.gov.

For more information about the history of National Nurses Week, visit the American Nurses Association at http://nursingworld.org/NationalNursesWeek.