Pandemic highlights the plight of nurses here in Houston and worldwide

Florence Nightingale who was born 200 years ago Tuesday was the first to see the impact of social distancing and keeping your hands clean.

"Keeping a healthy distance she separated the soldiers three feet apart because they kept exchanging diseases," said Dr. Kathryn Tart founding dean of the University of Houston's College of Nursing.

Tart says 90% of nurses worldwide are women.

"This is a woman's issue," she said. "It's not just an issue about a pandemic but also the strength of women and moving us through these very difficult times."

While statistics show more men dying from COVID-19 than women 73 percent of health care workers falling ill from COVID 19 are women.

"None of us have ever been here before," Tart said. "Not quite like this."

"We're working hard to make sure they graduate on time because they're so needed," said Danielle Quintana who is managing a program of nurses at the University of Houston's College of Nursing. She's also raising 9- and 7-year-old boys and working on her PhD.

"So we're putting in 8, 10, 12 hour days at work and then we're starting school work at 6 o'clock at night," Quintana said.

So how do nurses do it all raise families and put their lives on the line for others?

"I'm not trying to be perfect right now I'm just trying to do the best I can," said Quintana."

How can we all help nurses in these crazy times?

Follow the guidelines.

Practice social distancing.

Wear a mask.