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To the editor:

Nurses are the largest group of health care providers in our country and are a vital public resoruce. Almost 1,600,000 of the nation's 2 million licensed registered nurses are providing nursing care in hospitals, nursing homes, private practices and various other health care settings, including private homes.Recent media attention has focused on the current shortage of nurses and factors causing it. I urge you to think for a moment what our health care system - and specifically, your health and your family's - might be without the expertise,dedication and compassion that nurses provide. Nurses touch the lives of virtually everyone at some time through hands-on care and health education.

"Nurses Change Lives" is the theme chosen by the American Nurses' Association in celebration of National Nurses' Day on May 6. With the ANA and the Utah Nurses' Association we recognize the positive contribution of nurses and their unique ability to impact the lives of those for whom they care.

We hope you'll join us in saying to nurses, "We appreciate you for who you are and what you do." "To the fine nurses in Salt Lake City community: Happy National Nurses' Day!

Brenda Kehoe, RN

Upjohn Healthcare Services Inc.