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Celebrating National Nurses Week

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La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -

Sunday is National Nurses Day, marking the start of Nurses Week. The celebration honors nurses across our nation and educates communities on the work they do.

Brittany Burnham did not always want to be a nurse, but after her grandfather fell ill she noticed the impact nurses had.

"Before that, I wanted to be a teacher," Burnham continues, "then just always in and out of the hospital I grew a lot of interest in helping people."

Burnham's now been a registered nurse at the Mayo Clinic for the last six months and she thinks it is a good fit.

"I am excited to come to work every day. Some people dread going to work but I love what I do so I love coming into work every day and it's excitement every shift," Burnham says.

An excitement she shares with the patients she sees, but it's not always easy.

"There are days where you're like, 'oh I am so tired and I did so much work,' but just this one day can make you feel so appreciated," Burnham elaborates.

Mayo celebrated Nurses Week early, ensuring nurses like Burnham know they are appreciated.

"It's a time where we really get to recognize and show the gratitude that we have for nurses and all they do, and one day doesn't always seem like enough," Chief Nursing Officer for Mayo Clinic Jason Fratzke explains.

Healthcare isn't the only service nurses provide to patients though.

"There's nobody else who spends the amount of time, face-to-face, skin-to-skin, ya know with hand holding and other things, to be able to really show that appreciation for a patient," Fratzke concludes.

That appreciation for patients helps nurses keep smiling even when it's not Nurses Week.

"If we can make a lasting impression on them in eight or 12 hours we should have a smile on our face because we are doing it for them," Burnham finishes.

Those impressions, and sometimes smiles back, can make those 12 hours shifts fly by.

Nurses week ends May 12 which is Florence Nightingale's birthday, the women credited as the founder of modern nursing.

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