By Kym Byrnes

Nurses might be the closest thing we have to angels on earth. No one wants to need a nurse, but anyone who has relied on one for care knows that a good nurses provide comfort, compassion and information unmatched by other care givers.

In fact, according to a 2014 Gallup Poll, Americans rank nurses as the most honest and ethical professionals (

National Nurses Day is observed on May 6 and kicks off National Nurses Week. The final day of National Nurses Week, May 12, is the birthday of Florence Nightingale, considered the founder of modern nursing.

National Nurses Week was established in 1954. May 6 was introduced as National Nurses Day in 1982.

Nurses play a vital role in the health of Carroll County — not only patients’ health, but the economic health of the county as a whole.

Carroll Community College began offering a licensed practical nursing program in 2001 and a registered nursing program in 2005. To date, the programs have trained 605 RNs and 237 LPNs. There are currently 212 students enrolled in nursing programs at Carroll Community College, according to a college spokesperson.

Carroll Hospital Center employs 570 RNs, with an average tenure of 11 years. The average full-time income for an RN at Carroll Hospital Center is just over $77,000, according to a hospital spokesperson.

So whether it’s your child’s school nurse, the neighbor you call on for everything from a bee sting to a fever in the middle of the night, or the oncology nurse who cared for your mother as she battled an awful disease, make a point of returning some of that kindness and thank a nurse on May 6.