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WHEREAS, The World Health Organization has designated 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife,” in recognition of the vital role nurses and midwives play in providing health services worldwide; and
WHEREAS, the World Health Organization, the Global Health Access Institute, the Virginia Nurses Association, the Virginia Midwives Alliance, the American College of Nurse-Midwives, American Nurses Association, Nursing Now, Nightingale Challenge and other initiatives have collaborated to raise the profile of nurses and midwives and to support the indispensable work of these professions; and
WHEREAS, the more than 125,000 Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, Certified Nurse-Midwives, Certified Professional Midwives, and Women's Health Nurse Practitioners represent the largest group of healthcare professionals in Virginia; and
WHEREAS, nurses and midwives work collaboratively with physicians, other healthcare clinicians, and wellness practitioners to serve and care for individuals, families, and communities, and serve the healthcare needs of the Virginia population in a wide range of settings; and
WHEREAS, professional nursing has been demonstrated to be a crucial component of safe and high quality care, and nurses are consistently ranked as the most ethical and trusted profession; and
WHEREAS, the Virginia Department of Health Professions licenses Certified Nurse-Midwives as Licensed Nurse Practitioners to provide healthcare to women throughout their life, including pregnancy and birth, and Certified Professional Midwives as Licensed Midwives to serve women during the childbearing year; and
WHEREAS, midwifery care has been shown to lower the rate of cesarean birth, preterm birth, and low birth rate infants, all of which significantly increase morbidity and the cost of care;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize 2020 as the YEAR OF THE NURSE AND MIDWIFE in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.