September 26, 2014
By Stephanie West
Washington, DC – Across America, 100,000 federal nurses are caring for our nation's veterans, active duty troops and families, and some of our most vulnerable populations. In light of their critical role to our nation's health and well-being and their shared commitment to public health care systems, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) resolved to honor these dedicated public servants with an annual week of recognition, called Federal Nurses Week. Beginning Sept. 22nd through 28th, this yearly event aims to introduce America to these nurses who work around the clock to keep our nation healthy and strong.
"In so many different ways government employees are working diligently to serve and protect us," says J. David Cox Sr., AFGE National President and sole nurse serving on the national executive council of the AFL-CIO. "Nurses in the federal sector are often overlooked and we're advocating to change that. As a nurse who spent more than 20 years serving veterans, I know first-hand the sacrifice and dedication federal nurses bring to their jobs. We proudly champion this important new annual celebration of these dedicated caregivers by establishing an annual week of recognition for their crucial role in government service."
Led by the union's Nurse Steering Committee and National Veterans Affairs Council (NVAC), AFGE is also working with members of Congress for the national recognition of Federal Nurses Week through legislation. This designated week encourages workers and agencies around the country to host celebratory events and tackle issues that directly impact federal nurses such as safe staffing, training and overtime limits.
"When we established the Nurse Steering Committee within AFGE we set out to fully represent the issues facing nurses at the federal level," said AFGE District 8 National Vice President Jane Nygaard.