Mrs. CAPPS. Mr. Speaker, I rise in recognition of National Nurses Week. Nurses are the largest group of health care providers in the U.S., with over 3.1 million professionals serving individuals and families in a range of settings. We work in hospitals, schools, nursing homes, research labs, correctional facilities, health systems, social service agencies and even right here in Congress.
This annual tribute begins on the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, and continues all week to honor the important contributions nurses make each and every day. In addition to setting aside time to recognize the work of nurses, each year a theme is chosen to highlight a different aspect of nursing practice. And this year's is incredibly timely: "Delivering Quality and Innovation in Patient Care.''
Whether it is helping one patient heal or working towards population level solutions to some of our most costly ailments, nurses are continuously innovating to improve quality of care. Nurses are patients' first advocate in improving their health; educating them about treatments and helping them navigate a sometimes daunting system. Using knowledge, compassion and skills, nurses not only improve quality of care for their patients, but can do so while holding down costs.
For example, using nurse-managed care coordination reduces emergency room visits and readmissions, ultimately lowering Medicare costs. And as nursing staffing levels increase, patient risks of complications and length of hospital stays decrease, helping individuals heal faster, improving quality of life and reducing long and costly hospital stays.
I hope you will join me this week in honoring and supporting this dedicated group of professionals who consistently go above and beyond the call of duty to provide better quality health care for all. As co-House Nursing Caucus, and as a nurse myself, I want to say to all nurses who care for our families and communities day in and day out without recognition--thank you.