One of the many reasons we choose to follow a plant-based diet is the desire to live long and in good health.
But what happens when we get sick, and that good health is snatched away from us?
It is in these moments when we turn to doctors and to the unsung heroes of the medical field: nurses.
Nurses work tirelessly to ensure our comfort and take care of us in the most profound way.
So in honor of International Nurses Day, we want to sincerely thank (and celebrate!) everyone who belongs to this noble profession.
A Brief History of Nursing
The word nurse comes from the Latin word “nutrire,” which means, “to suckle.”
Not surprisingly, the term was originally used in reference to wet nurses until the late 16th century when it became more generally known as someone who takes care of the sick.
The practice of nursing, however, has been around for thousands of years, with references to nurses occurring as early as AD 165-280.
Nursing has grown and expanded over time, and in the mid-1850’s, Florence Nightingale began to lay the foundations for what we now consider to be modern nursing.
Nurses: Incredibly Important but Often Unrecognized
Despite their great importance to health care systems everywhere, nurses frequently go unacknowledged, remaining in the shadows of the doctors with whom they work.
Not to belittle the efforts of doctors, we must also recognize the huge contributions of nurses.
Simply put, without nurses our health care systems would be incomplete, failing to function properly.
And as our population ages, the need for nurses grows at a fast clip.
Given their tremendous role, it is hardly surprising that nursing is now ranked one of the fastest growing occupations in the US!
What Is International Nurses Day All About?
International Nurses Day—a day that honors nurses across the globe—is celebrated every year on May 12th.
This date is significant because it is the birthday of the late Florence Nightingale, commonly known as the founder of modern nursing.
International Nurses Day first occurred in 1965 and became an official, global holiday in 1974.
Each year since its inception, the International Council of Nurses has distributed an International Nurses Day Kit to share information and spread awareness.
How to Celebrate
So…how should you honor International Nurses Day?
For starters, take this opportunity to thank the healthcare professionals in your life, and especially all the nurses you know.
Make a point to reach out to your favorite nurses on May 12th.
For our part, we would like to take a deep bow to a very special nurse in the plant-based community—Jane Esselstyn, RN.
Jane is a passionate nurse, researcher and plant-based enthusiast who is famous for her innovative plant-based recipes. She co-authored the Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook with her mother Ann Esselstyn and has contributed recipes to two books authored by her brother Rip Esselstyn, the NY Times bestsellers The Engine 2 Diet and The Seven-Day Rescue Diet.
Jane has generously agreed to share with us one of her (and her mom’s) masterpiece recipes (and one of my personal favorites!) for vegan deviled ‘eggs,’ called Smoky Little Devils.
The recipe features tiny potatoes stuffed with green onion hummus; it is simple to make and ‘off-the charts’ delicious!
A big round of applause for Jane Esselstyn and to nurses everywhere!
Happy International Nurses Day to all!