National Nurses Week honors nurses everywhere during the week of May 6th and ends on May 12th, the day of Florence Nightingale’s birth.
In the United States, over 200,000 nurses provide care in a variety of settings. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), 3.8 million nurses are registered nurses. Not only is it the fasted growing medical profession, but it is also the largest.
While many RNs work in hospitals and clinics, they also specialize in areas such as pediatrics, occupational health, neuroscience, ICU, and case management.
The week highlights the dedication and commitment of nurses everywhere. Whether they provide care on the frontlines of battle or in an operating room, clinic, or nursing home, they have been professionally trained to provide excellent care.
GET INVOLVED: Recognize excellent care from the nurses who provide it. Whether they care for you or a loved one, be sure to tell them. Take it a step further and tell their supervisor. Do you know a nurse? Give them a shout out on social media using #NationalNursesWeek. Let them know how much you appreciate them.
HISTORY: Promoted by the American Nurses Association, National Nurses Week encourages organizations across the country to celebrate the dedication and outstanding contributions nurses make to healthcare every day.
In 1974, President Nixon proclaimed a National Nurse Week. New Mexico nurses initiated a resolution in 1981 to have May 6th declared National Recognition Day for Nurses. The American Nurses Association (ANA) Board of Directors took up the banner and promoted the proposal. In 1982, the United States Congress designated May 6th to be National Recognition Day for Nurses, and President Ronald Reagan signed the proposal. The ANA Board of Directors later expanded the celebration in 1990 to a week-long celebration (May 6-12) known as National Nurses Week.
Each year the American Nurses Association (ANA) chooses a theme to acknowledge the many services provided by nurses everywhere during National Nurses Week. Examples of past themes include:
- 2000- Nurses: Keeping the Care in Healthcare
- 2002 – Nurses Care for America
- 2003 – Nurses: Lifting Spirits, Touching Lives
- 2006 – Nurses: Strength, Commitment, Compassion
- 2015 – Ethical Practice. Quality Care.
- 2018 – Nurses: Inspire, Innovate, Influence
- 2019 – 4 Million Reasons to Celebrate
- 2020 – Nurses: A Voice to Lead
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