Message from the Minister of Health – National Nursing Week – May 8-14, 2017


Canadian nurses make up the largest group of health professionals in our country, and they play a vital role in our healthcare system.

Each year, National Nursing Week honours nurses for the many ways in which they are working to improve the health of Canadians. This year’s theme — “#YESThisIsNursing” — speaks to the ever-expanding traditional and non-traditional roles of today’s nurses, as well as the unique settings and sectors in which they work.

Nurses are often our most passionate advocates of health promotion and disease prevention, and are essential to providing patients with high-quality primary and critical care. They are the first point of contact for many people in hospitals and clinics. And with the emergence of advanced nursing practices, they are increasingly taking the lead in providing routine follow-up for patients, able to prescribe drugs and order tests.

Our dedicated nurses provide Canadians of all ages and at all stages of life with excellent care. Nurses may work in acute care situations or in more specialized outpatient settings to care for those who are acutely, critically or chronically ill. It is a demanding profession, and the role of nurses will continue to expand as we put a greater emphasis on home- and community-based care options.

Today is also Indigenous Nurses Day, a time for us to recognize the expertise, dedication, and commitment of Indigenous nurses working in First Nations and Inuit communities across the country. I’ve had the opportunity to meet Indigenous nurses and to witness the important contribution they make to the lives of First Nations and Inuit people. They work within communities, conduct research, teach courses and promote awareness of the importance of cultural competence and safety. These remarkable nurses are often a patient’s primary contact in the healthcare system, and they frequently face the unique and challenging circumstances that come with working in remote and isolated communities. Their ongoing efforts are truly invaluable.

The Government of Canada is committed to working closely with healthcare professionals, provinces and territories to support nurses so they can continue to provide professional, high-quality healthcare. We also remain committed to working with our partners to provide effective, sustainable and culturally appropriate care in Indigenous communities to improve health outcomes.

This week especially, I invite all Canadians to join me in celebrating the nursing profession, to applaud all that they do – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year – to improve the health of all Canadians.

The Honourable Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health


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