National Nurses Week is next week! At Nursa™, we have been reflecting on the long and arduous path that nurses, such as Florence Nightingale, have paved for us all, allowing us to receive high-quality, evidence-based healthcare. Furthermore, we have been reflecting on the fact that nurses nowadays continue to honor Nightingale’s legacy with their knowledge, bravery, and compassion.
At Nursa™, we also strive to contribute to the nursing profession by facilitating clinicians’ access to high-paying part-time and PRN nursing jobs. Our mission is to help registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and certified nursing assistants (CNAs) advance their careers, simultaneously improving patient care.
Read on to learn more about National Nurses Day and the other special dates that celebrate the nursing career, including nursing education and training – plus some bonus tips on how to celebrate nurses on their special day.
When Is National Nurses Day?
In 1982, the U.S. Congress designated May 6 “National Recognition Day for Nurses” as a result of lobbying by the American Nurses Association (ANA) and other nursing organizations. In addition, in 1996, the ANA started celebrating “National RN Recognition Day” on the same date.
When Is National Nurses Week?
In 1990, the ANA designated May 6 to May 12, 1991, as “National Nurses Week”. Four years later, in 1994, National Nurses Week became a permanent annual celebration.
Other Important Nurse Recognition Dates
In 1974, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) determined that ‘International Nurse Day’ would be celebrated on May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.
More recently, as of 1998, National Student Nurses Day is celebrated on May 8, and, as of 2003, National School Nurse Day is celebrated on the Wednesday within National Nurses Week (May 6-12).
Who Was Florence Nightingale?
Both National Nurses Week and International Nurse Day honor the birth and life of Florence Nightingale, who is considered the foundational philosopher of modern nursing. While treating injured soldiers during the Crimean War, she upheld unprecedented quality of patient care by implementing sanitary conditions and insisting on compassionate, patient-centered attention. Nightingale enforced standards in nursing practice and education that helped make nursing the most-trusted profession.
How Can We Celebrate National Nurses Day?
If you are on the lookout for ways to celebrate nurses on National Nurses Day and throughout this whole week dedicated to nurse recognition, we have a few ideas to share.
It’s Simple: Celebrate!
One of the best ways to celebrate nurses is to do precisely that: throw a party with great music and killer food; dedicate a day to pampering the people that are on their feet taking care of others day in and day out. Consider hiring massage therapists to give everyone massages and/or nail technicians to offer free mani-pedis. For ideas on how to throw the best party for nurses, read about the party Nursa™ is throwing for the community nurses and CNAs coming up this Saturday, April 30th.
Give Sincere Thanks
Take the time to stop in the hallway, look nurses in the eye, and say thank you. Don’t let this week pass by without recognizing the work of the most outstanding nurses in your facility; write them personalized thank you letters or hold an award ceremony. Despite the fact that nursing is the most selfless profession – or perhaps because of that fact – receiving appreciation for their hard work and sacrifice goes a long way in making nurses feel valued.
Involve Nurses in the Celebration
The best way to know what nurses would appreciate is to ask them. If you want to recognize the most outstanding nurses, ask the nurses themselves to vote for their most deserving colleagues. If you decide to have a raffle or give everyone a gift, take a poll or ask a handful of nurses what they would like to receive. Finally, honor National Nurses Day by dedicating this time to having open conversations with nurses, to truly listening to their troubles and their needs. Then, show nurses that you believe them, respect them, and trust them by making the utmost effort to instate the changes they ask for.