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7 Ways Nurses Improve Our Lives (Including You!)

May 6, 2024 8:58:18 AM / by Amy Landrum, AGNP-C CWOCN

Amy Landrum, AGNP-C CWOCN


Nurses – and their tremendous impact in our communities– are celebrated nationwide during National Nurses Week, May 6-12. The American Nurses Association has designated the theme for 2024’s celebration as “Nurses Make a Difference”. In honor of our nurse colleagues and friends, we want to share 7 ways nurses make an incredible difference to the communities, organizations, and patients they serve.
  1. They care for the whole patient.
    Nursing takes a holistic approach to caring for the health of people. It is almost certain that you will need this care many times in your life. Nurses do so much more than administer treatments or make health recommendations – they care for the mind, body, and spirit of their patients. They consider the unique characteristics of each patient they are treating, which means they think about patients’ strengths and weaknesses, socio-economic status, education level, and mental and spiritual well-being just as much as their physical health. When a nurse includes all parts of the patient’s life, it means better overall care and forms the essence of patient-centered care.
  1. They are healthcare leaders.
    Healthcare environments can be fast-paced and stressful, which results in many people experiencing difficulties when they enter a healthcare establishment. Some patients may even have urgent needs that are overlooked due to inherent problems within healthcare systems. Nurses often act as leaders who are willing to make important decisions, advocate for their patients, stay calm, and provide accurate information. They share this information not only with their patients but also with other members of the medical team so important decisions can be made. This ability to remain calm yet take charge helps ensure patients receive high-quality care in a timely manner.
  1. They are fierce patient advocates.
    The advocacy of nurses can make a significant impact on patient outcomes. Nurses spend more time with patients than any other member of the healthcare team, which allows them to build critical relationships with patients. Doing this allows them to become privy to valuable information about how the patient is really doing, often prodding them to ask important questions like the following: Is my patient able to adhere to the treatment plan? Are there barriers that prevent them from doing so? Do they have unmet needs or questions that need more attention? Are there logistical issues that prevent the patient from accessing medications, treatments, or other services?

    Nurses work with physicians, patients, and their families to ensure the treatment plan reflects the patient’s needs, wishes, and abilities. Within this context, nurses advocate for appropriate care that helps patients achieve optimal outcomes while promoting human dignity and autonomy.
  1. They are lifelong learners.
    Continuing education is a mandatory part of nursing practice, ensuring that nurses are informed of best practices in caring for their patients and communities. This emphasis on lifelong learning impacts more than just individual nursing practice. Healthcare is an ever-changing field where new discoveries and data analysis guide how things are done – meaning that one way of doing things can be replaced by another if proven to result in improved patient outcomes. Nurses are often in leadership positions in hospitals, public health offices, and more because they are required to stay current on industry best practices. Since they are often aware of what changes are needed in their organizations and medical practices, they can help ensure that things are being done the best way possible for improved patient outcomes.
  1. They are healthcare navigators.
    Healthcare systems and treatment plans can be confusing to patients. After seeking care for a medical condition, many people do not fully understand what is supposed to happen next or the steps required to make it happen. They may need to arrange for prescriptions, medical supplies, follow-up appointments, referrals, and more, which can feel overwhelming. Questions about insurance and accessing services may cause financial strain and add even more stress to an already difficult and confusing process. Because of this, an overwhelmed patient may slip through the cracks and not access the services they need to stay healthy. Nurses serve as navigators and beacons of light – much like a lighthouse during stormy weather. They work with patients to guide them through these processes, gather necessary paperwork, complete the referrals, send the prescriptions, and more all while advocating on their behalf.

  2. They are excellent communicators and educators.
    Nurses are wonderful at filling the communication gap between patients and other members of the healthcare team. They make sure everyone, including the patient, understands what is going on and what needs to happen next. Nurses must be able to understand advanced medical information and translate it into concepts that anyone can understand. They must also be able to take information from patient encounters and translate it into pertinent information for other members of the healthcare team. As a result, health education often falls to nurses, as they are used in a variety of settings to teach patients how to maintain their health. This includes important information on how to take medications, how to use medical equipment, symptoms to watch out for, and when to follow up with their healthcare provider.
  1. They are adaptable and valuable in many situations.
    To be effective in their role, nurses must be adaptable, and decisive, and look at all elements contributing to any given situation. Because of their unique position in the healthcare field, nurses have to be fantastic problem-solvers who can perform under pressure and balance multiple important tasks at once. They are also health researchers, advocates, and educators. Nurses are instrumental in keeping communities healthy by understanding the lives of their patients, the environment they operate in, and the healthcare system as a whole. These characteristics make nurses valuable in many settings, including businesses, insurance companies, hospitals, clinics, schools, and government organizations.

Nurses are vital members of society and contribute immeasurably to the healthcare field. We hope you learned more about all the ways nurses make a difference for their patients and communities. Simply put, nurses are truly invaluable.

At ABC Medical, we take this time to honor our nurse colleagues, customers, and friends. Without nurses, much of what we do here would be impossible. So, join us in celebrating National Nursing Week!


Disclaimer: This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For medical advice, please speak with your healthcare provider.


American Nurses Association. (2024, April 29). American Nurses Association Presents Nurses Week 2024 – Nurses Make the Difference. Nursingworld.org. https://www.nursingworld.org/news/news-releases/2024/nurses-week-2024/

American Nurses Association. (2023, September 7). How nurses can impact patient outcomes. Nursingworld.org. https://www.nursingworld.org/content-hub/resources/nursing-leadership/positive-patient-outcomes/


Amy Landrum, AGNP-C CWOCN

Written by Amy Landrum, AGNP-C CWOCN

As a nurse practitioner and WOCN specializing in wound, ostomy, and continence care, Amy brings a wealth of clinical experience in hospital, rehabilitation, and home health settings. Amy is passionate about helping patients navigate the healthcare system and obtain the resources they need.

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