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a nurse checking a patient's blood pressure. both are smiling

From taking our vital signs to conducting patient education and case management, nurses are the jack-of-all-trades in the medical field. Celebrated May 6-12, National Nurses Week is a time to recognize the contributions of the providers at the heart of our health care system. Concluding on the birthday of Florence Nightingale – the founder of modern nursing – it’s also the perfect week to learn more about the profession or even consider joining the ranks of dedicated nurses.

Become a nurse in Massachusetts

The Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) outlines the process for becoming a board-certified nurse in the Commonwealth through specific nursing education programs. Once you’ve completed the necessary education, guidance for obtaining the proper licensing can also be found at the EOHHS website. Health care professionals practicing in Massachusetts may also be eligible for a special loan repayment program. Additional online nursing services include license registration, renewal, and verification.

The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing regulates the rules and statutes related to both the practice and education standards of nursing in the Commonwealth. Read the board’s annual newsletter to stay current with nursing topics and events. For more information on nursing regulations and organizations, visit EOHHS’ nursing webpage and the Massachusetts Nurses Association website.

Speak up to improve our health care system

Nurses – and doctors – want you to be as healthy and happy as possible, so don’t hesitate to ask them questions at your appointments and well visits. Give feedback to your providers about how a visit goes. If you have a particularly unsatisfying experience with a provider, file a complaint to help improve future encounters for everyone.

Nurses support us in various ways – they answer our last-minute questions, teach us how to administer medications, and assist staff during medical procedures. They help make our doctor and hospital visits go as smoothly as possible, and their incredible contributions to health care deserve a round of applause. Let’s hear it for all the nurses across the nation!

We want to know about your experiences as a nurse or with the nurses in your life. Share your stories in the comments below or tweet us, @MassGov.

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