The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on all of us. But it has been especially tough on frontline healthcare workers. And Black nurses have been among the hardest hit. Research from the Rutgers School of Nursing found that COVID-19 has been uniquely difficult for non-white frontline healthcare workers due to the combined stress of the pandemic and the racism they often experience in the workplace.
Visual artist Reyna Noriega wanted to find a way to show her appreciation for the nurses who have sacrificed so much, including her own grandmother who was an RN. So the Afro-Latina artist is using her talent and partnering with BAND-AID to design a series of custom “Thank You Cards” made to honor black nurses.
“It was important to me and BAND-AID that these designs pay homage to the healing and care that Black nurses have been providing us during these unprecedented times. We wanted these cards to highlight their resiliency while celebrating and uplifting them for all they provide to patients every day,” Noriega said.
According to a May 9 Instagram post, BAND-AID will feature Noriega’s card designs throughout National Nurses Week (May 6 - 12). And they’re not stopping there. In a May 6 Instagram post, BAND-AID also announced a grant to the National Black Nurses Association to help alleviate the costs of expenses such as childcare and utilities. NBNA will choose grant recipients from those nurses who submit an application form by June 10, 2022. These initiatives are being rolled out by BAND-AID OURTONE, the company’s line of adhesive bandages that complement darker skin tones.
The post read:
“We are committing $150,000 to @nbna_insta to sponsor the BAND-AID® Brand OURTONE™ Nurses Recharge Fund to help ease everyday stresses for Black nurses and allow them more time to recharge. Sixty NBNA members, selected by NBNA, will receive funding to help alleviate costs and time spent on meals, childcare, utilities, laundry and/or cleaning.”
A July 2020 survey of more than 10,000 nurses by the American Nurses Foundation found that Black nurses were more likely than white nurses to be on the frontlines of the pandemic, providing direct care to COVID patients – 58 versus 49 percent. And according to National Nurses United, although Black nurses make up 12.4 percent of registered nurses in the country, they represented over 16 percent of the RNs who died of COVID and related complications.