Today (5/12) is the anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birthday. It marks the end of National Nurses Week and International Nurses Day. A quick refresher on Florence Nightingale (I know, grade school history was a long time ago). According to Biography.com, she came from an wealthy British family and was born in Florence, Italy (hence the name) on May 12, 1820. She eventually became famous for drastically improving cleanliness in London hospitals during the Crimean war and went on to become a renowned philanthropist and nursing advocate. She was an original "social influencer" long before Instagram.

The medical industry is big in Montana, with Livability.com listing four of our hospitals in the top ten list of employers. According to Lauren Lewis, Public Information Officer at the Montana Department of Labor and Industry, there are 20,310 licensed nurses and LPN's working in Montana. Of those, 17,083 have Montana addresses. 3,093 of those list Yellowstone County as their primary address. Nursing and health care is obviously a large contributor to Billings economy.

I have huge respect for anyone who chooses to make nursing a career. It takes a certain personality to deal with people in pain. Not to mention: grouchy old people, screaming little kids, pill seekers, drunks and/or drug addicts, abuse victims, patients with bodies mangled from accidents, suicide attempts, dementia patients, those on their death beds, the list is endless. There's ALL of that, combined with 12 hour shifts on concrete floors. I couldn't do it. No way.

My family has probably spent more time with nurses than most. I'm talking literally hundreds and hundreds of hours in hospitals with my little one.To the nurses who deal with sick children, I have a special spot of gratitude for what you do. THANK YOU!!

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