February 06, 1974
By the President of the United States Of America
America has always honored those who serve society as nurses. In recent years, however, we have come to appreciate more than ever the complex and expanding role which nurses play in our health care system. Increasingly, the high quality of our nursing profession is making it possible for more Americans to enjoy better health services.
As medical science makes new discoveries, nursing skills in turn must become more sophisticated and more highly specialized. In out-of-hospital settings, nurses in increasing numbers arc assuming primary care roles as specialized nurse practitioners. Graduates of pediatric nurse practitioner programs are independently caring for a high percentage of children receiving care in metropolitan health clinics and private medical practice. Visiting nurses, with highly specialized skills in the prevention of illness and accidents and in the assessment and treatment of chronic conditions, are making it possible for even very frail elderly people to go on residing in their own homes. Nurses trained in intensive coronary care are saving lives of patients who develop lethal disturbances of heart rhythm. Nurses engaged in research projects have helped to improve our understanding in many areas, including the rehabilitation of stroke patients, the care and prevention of pulmonary disease, cancer nursing, ways to help ambulatory patients, and illnesses that result in absence from school.
For their dedication and for their constantly expanding skills, which are doing so much to improve the health of America, nurses merit the highest measure of personal and professional regard.
Now, Therefore, I, Richard Nixon, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week of February 10 through February 16, 1974, as National Nurse Week. I invite the Governors of the States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and officials of other areas subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, to issue similar proclamations.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of February, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred ninety-eighth.
PDF of Presidential Proclamation on GovInfo.gov
More: The History of Nurses Week