National Nurses Week begins every year on May 6th and ends on May 12th, which is also the birthday of legendary nurse Florence Nightingale. The week kicks off with “National Nurses Day” on May 6th. During this week of recognition, we celebrate the history of the nursing profession and the vital contributions that nurses everywhere have made in our communities.
Nurses play an important role in a wide variety of healthcare settings. Every year, they provide care for millions of people around the world. In the past year, the nurse has become the image of the American hero. RNs have shown the world that the work of the nurse is unmatched in dedication, compassion, and sacrifice. Their efforts during the pandemic will forever live in the American consciousness.
Below are some important moments in the history of National Nurses Week.
GIFTED Healthcare Is Proud To Celebrate National Nurses Week 2021
Nurses are important at every stage of our lives. They help deliver new life into the world, celebrating with new parents. They care for children struggling with illness and help keep students well in schools. Adolescents and adults find new perspectives on wellness and preventative medicine thanks to the wide range of experiences nurses offer. Seniors and those in palliative care find comfort in the thoughtful and gracious work of nurses in hospitals, clinics, LTAC facilities, and beyond.
One in ten families in our country contains a nurse. Nurses are everywhere; they are your neighbors, your friends, fellow parents, and citizens. RNs alone comprise the largest group of health care professionals in the United States. Nurses vary widely in their specialties but remain continually focused on providing top-quality care to all patients.
Beyond direct service at the bedside, nurses can become certified in many clinical skills and/or patient populations and hold positions in direct care, executive leadership, research, academia, and policy. As an agency founded and run by nurses, GIFTED celebrates our Travel, Local, Per Diem, and Government clinicians and nurse entrepreneurs every day of the year.
History of National Nurses Week
1953: The U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare asked President Eisenhower to proclaim a “Nurse Day” in October 1954, but he never made the proclamation.
1954: National Nurse Week was informally observed from October 11 – 16, in honor of the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s legendary work in the Crimean War.
1972: The House of Representatives presented a resolution requesting President Richard Nixon proclaim an official “National Registered Nurse Day,” but once again, the president did not make a proclamation.
1974: The International Council of Nurses (ICN) proclaims that May 12 is “International Nurse Day” in honor of Florence Nightingale’s birthday. President Nixon finally issues a proclamation designating one week in February to be “National Nurse Week.”
1981: The American Nurses Association (ANA) supports a resolution in partnership with New Mexico Congressman Manuel Lujan to establish May 6, 1982, as “National Recognition Day for Nurses.”
1982: President Ronald Reagan signs a proclamation that “National Recognition Day for Nurses” will be May 6, 1982.
1993: The ANA extends the recognition of nurses to a week-long celebration and declares that May 6 – 12 will be permanently designated as “National Nurses Week.”
1993 The ANA Board of Directors designated May 6 – 12 as permanent dates to observe National Nurses Week in 1994 and in all subsequent years.
1997: Based on a request by the National Student Nurses Association, the ANA designates May 8 as “National Student Nurses Day.”
Celebrate National Nurses Week with GIFTED
Join GIFTED Healthcare as we celebrate National Nurses Week this year! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn as we share special features on GIFTED Nurses and legendary caretakers of the past.
Florence Nightingale, considered by many to be the mother of modern nursing, famously said, “I attribute my success to this — I never gave nor took an excuse.” That is the heart of the GIFTED Nurse, many of whom rushed selflessly to the bedside to provide care for those in need during this once-in-a-century health crisis.
Nurses’ willingness to risk their own safety and health to save lives will be celebrated and honored long after the end of National Nurses Week. To all our wonderful nurses, thank you for all that you do!
“History of National Nurses Week: American Nurses Association.” ANA, www.nursingworld.org/education-events/national-nurses-week/history/.