CELEBRATING NURSES' WEEK
When Is Nurses’ Week?
Nurses’ week takes place between Thursday, May 6 – Wednesday, May 12, 2021. May 12 is significant as it marks the revered Florence Nightingale’s birthday.
It takes place annually and this is going to mark the 201st year of celebrating Nurses’ Week.
Nurses have sacrificed so much for the community. It’s only fitting that there’s a week dedicated to giving back to them.
What Is Nurses’ Week?
Nurses’ week is an annual celebration of nurses worldwide for the work they do for others. The week allows people the chance to acknowledge the nurses in their lives. It also provides an opportunity to thank nurses within the industry as a whole for the work they’ve done.
Though the week seeks to honor all nurses, there are specific days dedicated to certain nurses. May 6 is National School Nurse Day; May 8 is for student nurses on National Student Nurses Day and May 12 is International Nurses Day.
During COVID-19, nurses have worked tirelessly on the front lines to ensure that people who need help are cared for. The pandemic has taken a toll on nurses’ morale and mental health.
Nursing, in general, is stressful and COVID-19 only amplifies that. Therefore, it’s even more critical to use nurses’ week to reach out and celebrate the nurses around you and throughout the world. We need to keep nurses emotionally engaged with their work to continue providing excellent care to their patients.
The History of Nurses’ Week
Dorothy Sutherland of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare sent a proposal to President Eisenhower in 1953 to create an official nurse day. About 20 years later, President Nixon created a week in February 1974 to acknowledge the nursing profession. In 1978, New Jersey’s governor, Brendon Byrne, declared May 6 as National Nurses Day.
In 1981, there was an assassination attempt on President Reagan. He received care from a team of nurses who dislodge a bullet inches from his heart. After his recovery, Reagan tracked down the nurses and sent them words of encouragement and thank you notes.
In 1982, the Ronald Reagan signed an executive order making it official on May 6, 1982.
Furthermore, the International Nurse Council declared International Nurses Day on May 12 after Florence Nightingale. After a few years, the ANA determined that the profession needed an entire week of celebration. Now we have nurses’ week!