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“Thank a Nurse” Statewide Campaign Launches 


October 4, 2021
Christina Crooks Bryan
Delaware Healthcare Association
(302) 674-2853
Mobile: (302) 245-1638

“Thank a Nurse” Statewide Campaign Launches 
Delawareans Urged to Join in Thanking Nurses by Getting COVID-19 Vaccine 
(Dover, DE -- October 4, 2021) The Delaware Healthcare Association along with its member hospitals, the Delaware Health Care Facilities Association, the Delaware Nurses Association and the Delaware Organization for Nursing Leadership today launched a month-long “Thank a Nurse” campaign. This statewide initiative aims to show Delaware nurses support as they continue to care for patients on the front lines of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The effort also encourages the public to get their COVID-19 vaccines as the best way to say “thank you” for all Delaware nurses do to care for those in the community.
As part of the campaign, the public is asked to share on social media how nurses have touched their lives and are encouraged to tag a nurse they want to thank in a social media post. Please click here for social media graphics and sample messages that can be used to show your support for Delaware nurses, using #ThankaNurseDE. Participating organizations will be sharing messages of support this month in social media, blogs, op-eds and through other initiatives.
“God bless our nurses and care staff. It has been an exhausting nineteen months. Our nurses are passionate, dedicated, caring and tired. Thank you to each and every nurse and care team member who remains on the front lines of this pandemic. The best way you can thank them and show your caring is by getting the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Wayne Smith, President and CEO of the Delaware Healthcare Association.
“For all the nurses out there, no matter where you work. For all of the late nights. For all of the early mornings. For the extended shifts and hours of work. For the dinners you missed with your families. For the homework you weren’t there to help with or the bedtime stories you missed. For answering the phone calls from the hospital when you were home. For being willing to give of yourself no matter the risk. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” said Bayhealth President and CEO Terry M. Murphy, FACHE.
“Our nurses have been challenged like never before during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Every day, nurses have valiantly cared for patients, and your encouragement, support, understanding is needed now more than ever as we battle this surge. You can help. To prevent serious illness and hospitalization, we can encourage all our friends and neighbors to get the COVID-19 vaccine,” said David A. Tam, MD, MBA, CPHE, FACHE, President & CEO, Beebe Healthcare.
“When we think back to the spring of 2020, we celebrated our health care heroes with meals, thank you notes and even motorcycle parades. Those celebrations died down, but the heroes never stopped serving—they’re still working incredibly hard under the most challenging circumstances we’ve ever faced. They are feeling disheartened because we have the tools to end the pandemic—the vaccines. COVID-19 continues to spread, especially among unvaccinated people, and patients are filling our hospitals and intensive care units. The very best way to say thank you to nurses is to get vaccinated,” said Ric Cuming, Ed.D., RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, ChristianaCare Chief Nurse Executive.
“We are thankful for all of our nurses and the commitment and compassion they bring to patient care each and every day. ‘Thank a Nurse’ month is a special opportunity to highlight just how much our nurses mean to us and how invaluable they are to the communities they serve. Please thank a nurse in person this month AND in action by getting your COVID-19 vaccine,” said Jane Mericle, DNP, MHS-CL, RN, CENPExecutive Vice President, Nemours Children’s Health, Chief Nurse Executive, Patient Operations Officer, Delaware Valley.
“Our nurses have gone above and beyond to care for their patients in this uncharted global pandemic territory,” says James L. Woodward, CEO of Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic and acting president of Saint Francis Hospital. “We are so proud of their compassion and dedication to providing safe, high-quality care, even in these unprecedented times. We are thankful for their commitment and ask all Delawareans to join in showing your support.”
“From the day we are born, nurses play an irreplaceable role in the care that we receive throughout our lives. Now, more than ever, they need our support. Please join us in taking this opportunity to say thank you to the nurses in your lives,” said Penny Short, MSM, BSN, RN, President, TidalHealth Nanticoke.
“Nurses are the heart and soul of health care delivery. Even when faced with the challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, they continue to deliver quality service. Health care has been a national priority through this trying time and we can never thank the nursing staff enough for manning the frontline,” said Vince Kane, Director, Wilmington VA Medical Center.
“Nurses are a vital part of our workforce, but unfortunately, there is a shortage nationally and here in Delaware. Their unflinching dedication to the care of residents in long-term care settings, was crucial to providing quality care during unprecedented times. We want to make sure that every nurse knows how valued they are and that future nurses are encouraged to join this critical field,” said Cheryl Heiks, Executive Director of the Delaware Health Care Facilities Association.
“The Delaware Nurses Association is proud to partner and amplify the ‘Thank-a-Nurse’ campaign from the Delaware Healthcare Association. The past 18+ months have been incredibly challenging for all health care professionals. Nurses, the largest sector of the health care workforce, are embedded in all care settings and working to support public health and safety measures that combat COVID-19. The ‘Thank-a-Nurse’ campaign is so important and a great way for Delawareans to express their gratitude for our nurses. A simple thank you or random act of kindness goes a long way to support our nurses and combat fatigue and burnout. Thank you to the Delaware Healthcare Association for leading this campaign and supporting Delaware’s nurses,” said Christopher E. Otto, MSN, RN, CHFN, PCCN, CCRN, Executive Director, Delaware Nurses Association.
“The pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to the nursing workforce. Nurses have seen and experienced grief and exhaustion like never before,” said Karen Pickard, DNP, MSN, RN, CNE, President of the Delaware Organization for Nursing Leadership (DONL). “While coming to work each day to care for sick patients they continue to balance their family obligations, face their own fear of illness, all while striving to maintain their own well-being. Nurses are truly the backbone of our healthcare system and they need our support and encouragement now more than ever. Nurse leaders must continue to support their front-line staff with their presence and with needed resources. To say “thank you” doesn’t seem nearly enough. The Delaware Organization for Nursing Leadership will continue to support all nurses in Delaware through advocacy and by advancing the delivery of safe patient care. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!”
Organizations Participating in the Campaign 
Beebe Healthcare 
Delaware Healthcare Association
Delaware Health Care Facilities Association
Delaware Nurses Association
Delaware Organization for Nursing Leadership (DONL)
Nemours Children’s Health, Delaware
Saint Francis Healthcare
Wilmington VA Medical Center

Delaware Nurse Facts
  • There are 27,000 licensed nurses in the State of Delaware. This includes 
    • Over 21,000 Registered Nurses (RN)
    • Over 3,100 Licensed Practical Nurses
    • Over 2,600 Advance Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)
  • Delaware is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), which allows a licensed RN to care for patients in other NLC states.
  • Delaware was recently the second state to pass legislation to enter the APRN Compact. Once seven states join, the APRN compact will allow APRNs to practice across state lines in other compact states. 
National Nurse Facts
According to the American Nurses Association:
  • “By 2022, there will be far more registered nurse jobs available than any other profession, at more than 100,000 per year. 
  • With more than 500,000 seasoned RNs anticipated to retire by 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the need for 1.1 million new RNs for expansion and replacement of retirees, and to avoid a nursing shortage.
  • Over the past decade, the average age of employed RNs has increased by nearly two years, from 42.7 years in 2000 to 44.6 years in 2010. These factors, combined with an anticipated strengthening of the economy, will create a renewed critical shortage for nurses.”