Ketchikan appreciates its nurses all year long.

So, for the First City, every day is nurses' day. But, nationally, National Nurses Week ended Wednesday on Florence Nightingale's birthday.

President Richard Nixon proclaimed the first National Nurses Week in February in 1974, and the American Nurses Association Board of Directors declared the week of recognition to be May 6-12 in 1990.

The community's nurses are known for their caring in our most vulnerable times. It's when we're in the hospital, at a clinic and undergoing tests that we meet nurses. They might call and check on us after a procedure.

We might not be feeling well, or we might be taking measures to ensure we're healthy. We might be taking the circumstances that bring us in contact with a nurse in stride, or we might be in pain and extremely concerned.

This is when a nurse comes on the scene, helping us to maneuver through our medical care or emergency.

We appreciate their concern, their guidance and their support.

The nurses have their week, but they have our gratitude all year.