The days and nights run together now

The need is growing in a way she never imagined

She helps patients who slowly recover

She cares for many who die alone in isolation without loved ones

She quit watching the news

She knows firsthand about the pain and suffering

She is tired and misses how life used to be

She struggles to find a new “normal”

Still though she forges ahead

Patients, families and her team members depend on her

She will always do her best and give all her heart

She will combine clinical skills and best practices

She will not waiver in her commitment to those who need her most

No matter what, she keeps trying

She is a Kentucky nurse

It is both an honor and a privilege to work on her behalf and 85,000+ of her colleagues across the Commonwealth during Nurses Week (May 5 — 12), Nurses Month and 365 days a year. We wanted to let you know about the activities that we are organizing to support nurses, with help from our members, their friends and family, businesses and healthcare organizations.

We started with the Kentucky Nurses Association’s (KNA) roll out of its Apricot Ribbon Campaign, a grassroots effort to show appreciation for nurses and frontline workers who continue to work tirelessly to care for patients with COVID-19 as part of the overall effort to support the mental health of nurses. Apricot, in the orange family and represents optimism. Apricot is also the color of nursing.

Simultaneously, KNA members and friends turned into “road warriors” as these dedicated Kentuckians traveled more than 7,000 miles along Kentucky’s highways and byways to deliver 1000apricot ribbons, bows 375 yard signs showing appreciation for nurses and 1100 face shields, to nurse colleagues and every hospital in the Commonwealth. The KNA thanks the J.B. Speed School of Engineering at the University of Louisville for designing face shields. As we speak, KNA staff and volunteers are working on a plan to distribute 6000 personal size bottles of hand sanitizer manufactured and donated by Donum Dei, Heaven Hill, Lexington Brewing, MB Roland, Town Branch and Evan Williams distillers.

KNA partners with

psychiatric nurses association to offer mental health support for nurses

Recognizing the emotional impact and unprecedented challenges COVID-19 has on those providing direct care such as nurses, the KNA recently partnered with the International Society of Psychiatric Nurses (ISPN) to launch its “Kentucky Nurses Helping Nurses” (KNHN) mental health program — a volunteer network of nurses, working and retired, who have a passion for and expertise in mental health nursing who want to support and be there for nurses while they are caring for others. Requests for information/support/assistance are confidential. KNHN includes myriad of web-based resources such as relevant articles, free webinars, blogs and power point presentations. Through its volunteer peer support component, psychiatric nurses offer peer support and refer to professional therapy and psychiatric services as needed. Along with online access, nurses can also call the KNHN hotline at 1-877-358-0420 or communicate by emailing admin@kentucky-nurses.org There is so much more we could tell you about how the KNA, the voice for all Kentucky nurses since 1906, is doing to help nurses. We believe though that you have seen nurses supporting one another in many ways such as at the birth of your children, that time you had an accident and ended up in the emergency room or when the end of life came for someone you loved. Now, in this time of social distancing and lives disrupted, nurses bring clinical expertise, leadership skills, case management experience and caring hearts to those they serve.

We applaud Gov. Beshear’s message reminding us all that “we will get through this together.” As Kentucky’s largest base of healthcare employees, we agree. We will indeed get through this together; we are nurses. It’s what we do — it’s how we roll.

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