The Underdogs of Healthcare: Nurses

cinco de mayo nurse underdogs

We know all about underdogs; from the tortoise and the hare, Cinderella, or the Cubs winning the 2016 World Series for the first time in 106 years. Below, we’re going to give you something to chat about with your patients if you work a shift during the Cinco de Mayo holiday this year.

Did you know the Cinco de Mayo holiday is also a true underdog story?

To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, the Fifth of May, our team at Nurse Backpack wanted to remind the community about the reason this holiday is celebrated. The Fifth of May is celebrated to commemorate Mexico’s unlikely victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla.

Cinco de Mayo History: Battle of Puebla to Good Neighbor Outreach

In 1862 a Mexican militia led by General Ignacio Zaragoza defeated far better equipped French expeditionary forces on Cinco de Mayo. Emperor Napoleon III had sent French troops to Mexico to secure dominance over the former Spanish colony and install one of his relatives, Archduke Maximilian of Austria, as its ruler.

Zaragoza won the battle, but the Mexicans ultimately lost the war. Maximilian became Mexico’s emperor for three years before the country reclaimed its independence.

Cinco de Mayo gained its first popularity in the U.S. in the 1950s and 1960s, partly because of an outpouring of brotherly love, Alamillo says. “The reason it became more popular [in the U.S. during that time] was in part because of the Good Neighbor policy,” he said, referring to a U.S. government effort at the time to reach out to neighboring countries.

“Cinco de Mayo’s purpose was to function as a bridge between these two cultures,” Alamillo said. The holiday’s popularity really grew in the 1960s, when Mexican-American, or Chicano, activists embraced the holiday as a way to build pride among Mexican Americans, Alamillo says.


In healthcare, there are underdogs pulling us along to better health.

Nurses are “consistently undervalued”, the president of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organization (INMO) has said. Martina Harkin-Kelly said nurses were the “underdog of healthcare” but were also “the lynchpin of the health services”.

Ms Harkin-Kelly was speaking at the Irish launch of Nursing Now, a global campaign to raise the status of nursing. The campaign aims to improve the recognition of nurses and their contribution to healthcare along with greater investment in nursing and increasing nurses’ input and impact on healthcare.

The three-year campaign is being run in collaboration with the International Council of Nurses and the World Health Organization.

“Nurses and nursing are consistently undervalued. Indeed I would say we are the underdog of healthcare yet we are the lynchpin of the health services, a pivotal driving force that ensures healthy lives and promotes wellbeing globally,” Ms Harkin-Kelly said. She said Nursing Now aimed to change this by “demonstrating the incredible work that nurses do worldwide”.

Make the profession more attractive to new-grads.

Phil Ní Sheaghdha, INMO general secretary, said the campaign would also help make nursing more attractive for secondary school students considering the profession. Ms Ní Sheaghdha said transition year students considering nursing needed to hear from intern nurses right up to advanced nurse practitioners.

“It’s very important people can see where you can go with nursing. Unfortunately in Ireland a lot of our health services are negatively reported on for a variety of reasons. There is a lot of positives and one of them is a lot of the very good careers and feedback [from nurses],” she said.

Ms Ní Sheaghdha said the INMO’s balloting of its 40,000 members regarding pay proposals would conclude next week. “We’ll see what the results are and we’ll have to make decisions based on the result,” she added.

Dr Edward Mathews, the INMO director of professional and regulatory services, said: “Nursing and nurses in leadership are changing the face of healthcare delivery in Ireland and worldwide.

“Innovative and effective developments in nurse-led and delivered healthcare are improving health outcomes and delivering more economic healthcare. Fundamentally, nurses are improving lives, our society and economies and we can do more when nurses are empowered to do their job.”

The original article can be found here.

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Nurse Backpack is a free mobile application that enables professional credential management for end-users themselves. Alerts, reminders, resume package building and sending is possible for free from the mobile app. Built for nurses originally, school nurses, nursing students, lifeguards and many other professionals also use the app for their license and credential management.