CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Nurses across the country fighting on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic are getting a special tribute this Thanksgiving.
Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan and the Black Eyed Peas are among a number of celebrities who will perform Thursday night in a virtual concert.
The event, “Nurse Heroes Live,” aims to raise money to provide opportunities and resources for nurses as the U.S. faces a nursing shortage.
Studies have projected a shortage of registered nurses to spread across the country between 2016 and 2030. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing, which represents hundreds of nursing schools at public and private universities nationwide, says that the shortage is expected to intensify as Baby Boomers age, and the need for health care grows.
More than 2,000 health care workers, including over 220 registered nurses, have died from COVID-19 in the United States, according to nursing union National Nurses United. That’s among the more than 260,000 deaths nationwide, the highest global toll, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The money raised during the Thanksgiving Day concert intends to make it easier for nurses to complete their training, in part by paying for their continuing education and for their children’s.
“Mainly it is to honor and thank our nurse heroes because they are heroes,” Grammy award-winning singer Gloria Estefan told the Thomas Reuters Foundation. “These people put their lives on the line, their families’ lives on the line, for all of us, for the greater good.”
“Nurse Heroes Live” will be hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, with special appearances from Oprah Winfrey and Billy Crystal. It’ll be streamed online, starting at 7 p.m. EST.
Other performers include Andrea Bocelli, Emily Estefan, David Foster, Katharine McPhee Foster, Josh Groban, Carole King, Maluma, Leslie Odom Jr., Pitbull, Allen Stone and the Wailers.
The Thomas Reuters Foundation contributed to this report.