Emergency Nurses Day - The Date This Year and Some History

By ShiftMed Team//Nursing Profession
Emergency Nurses in the hospital working together

From September 30 to October 3, 2022, thousands of emergency nurses will meet in Denver for the Emergency Nurses Association’s first in-person Emergency Nurses Day conference since 2019. 

The event takes place to celebrate Emergency Nurse Week ahead of Emergency Nurses Day on October 12, 2022. 

Emergency nurses are always on the front lines of urgent care. They swoop in whenever we need them most, and we are so grateful for the thousands of emergency nurses that work throughout the country (and the world!).

This Emergency Nurse Day is the perfect opportunity to show support for the emergency nurses in your life. This guide has everything from staff-wide celebration ideas to gift suggestions for coworkers.

We’ll start by looking a bit more into the history of Emergency Nurses Day. How did it begin, and what can you expect for Emergency Nurses Week 2022?

When Is Emergency Nurses Day? 

Emergency Nurses Day is always celebrated on the second Wednesday of October. In 2022, Emergency Nurses Day will be on October 12th. Here are some future dates to keep in mind as well:

  • 2023: October 11th

  • 2024: October 9th

  • 2025: October 8th

Mark your calendars so you’ll never be out of the loop! Emergency Nurses Day comes after Emergency Nurses Week, the ENA’s special celebratory event. EN Week 2022 is from October 9th to October 12th.

The ENA will announce the annual theme a few months before the event. They’ll also provide some resources you can use to plan events at your local hospital or throughout the community.

What Is Emergency Nurses Day and Emergency Nurses Week?

The Emergency Nurses Association established Emergency Nurses Day in 1989, and it’s been celebrated annually ever since. 

This day recognizes the extraordinary effort and difference that emergency nurses make in the lives of millions of patients every year. 

It’s a chance to express gratitude and show appreciation to the nursing professionals in our lives.

After its inception in 1989, EN Day became so popular that the ENA decided to extend it an entire week. In 2001, EN Week was born. Now, this is a weeklong period to acknowledge all the incredible achievements and tireless commitment of the emergency nursing community. 

The ENA spotlights members of its association regularly, but it wanted to do more to honor all of the nurses who work in emergency and trauma care. 

What is Emergency Nurses Day for?

Emergency Nurses Day is about recognizing the emergency nurse community's remarkable strength, resilience, intelligence, and compassion. 

These individuals see people in some of the worst positions of their lives, but they work tirelessly to help, comfort, and heal them. They also stand beside families suffering as they watch and worry over a loved one; they care about everyone’s well-being, and their job is about putting others’ needs before their own.

While we always stress the importance of self-care in nursing, it’s difficult for many RNs and CERNs to prioritize themselves. Because they work so hard for their patients, they have a higher risk of experiencing stress-related illnesses, mental health symptoms, and burnout.

To show them how valuable they are, Emergency Nurses Day invites organizations to go the extra mile and express gratitude for their emergency nursing staff.

For friends and family, this is also a fun event to let the nurse in your life know how much you appreciate what they do.

What is the theme for EN Week 2022?

This EN Week and Emergency Nurses Day are about “Standing Strong.” The ENA recently released an early planning kit, so organizations can get a head start on planning their celebrations. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses were some of the world's most vulnerable and affected people. Although illnesses have dropped thanks to vaccinations, there is still many challenges RNs face. 

Many nurses have yet to recover from the height of the pandemic fully. And every day, they still see patients sick with coronavirus on top of all the other injuries and illnesses that require emergency care.

Standing Strong is a theme that reminds nurses they can make it through any difficulty they face. No matter their obstacles, they are supported by a community of thousands of other emergency nurses who stand beside them. 

We can never thank the unwavering commitment and strength of emergency nurses enough. This Emergency Nurses Day, however, is your opportunity to show the nurses you know how valuable they truly are. 

Ways to Celebrate Emergency Nurses Day

We suggest starting the festivities a week ahead of time. While Emergency Nurses Day falls on October 12, the full EN Week lasts October 9th through the 15th.

You might plan something special each day or decide to make an announcement honoring the entire week as a special celebration. These tips are intended for organizational leaders, nurses, and anyone who wants to acknowledge these healthcare heroes.

Spread the Word

The ENA’s EN Week 2022 Planning Guide has email templates you can customize. These are fantastic to send to local hospitals and healthcare facilities, explaining the importance of Emergency Nurses Day. 

Shout online, post about the event, and encourage others to share. In addition, you can use free social media graphics with #ENWeek, courtesy of the ENA. 

Send Thank-You Emails

Organizations can send out company-wide emails in honor of Emergency Nurses Day. For example, nurse managers or charge nurses can message their teams. 

Whenever possible, personalize your emails with the recipient’s name. In addition, consider adding personal compliments about their work ethic and unique contribution to emergency care.

Thank-you emails are a small way to show nurses that your team notices. You can also share this email with your entire organization to encourage them to give emergency nurses thank-yours all week long.

Give Emergency Nurse Gifts

There are plenty of personalized emergency nursing gifts you can give to nurses you know. These items from Positive Promotions feature plenty of fun designs. Consider building a thank-you gift bag with a t-shirt, cozy socks, a new water bottle, and a coffee tumbler. 

Gift cards are also great additions that you can easily attach to emails or thank-you cards. Consider places nurses enjoy, like Starbucks, Amazon, or a local restaurant. The more you know your staff, the more you can easily personalize their gifts. 

Host a Team Day or Night Out

Depending on their shifts, nurses are used to having unique social lives. However yours line up, take the time to organize a fun event on one of your off days. For example, reserve a room at a local restaurant, attend an escape room, or look up other exciting group activities in your area. 

Feel free to start a group chat and let nurses chip in their ideas!

Try to organize a day or night that allows as many people as possible to participate. You may even host a few throughout the month, so nurses with different shifts can still get in on the fun. 

Participate in the EN Week 5k

The virtual EN Week 5k is open to everyone, whether they’re walkers, runners, or wheelchair athletes. Join the event on the ENA site, then organize a meet-up at a scenic route.

If you’re entering as a group, get everyone some matching t-shirts and customized water bottles or sweat bands to show off your hospital spirit! 

After you finish, you can upload a screenshot of your time. Everyone’s participation is appreciated, but top earners can even receive a special prize! 

You can organize a thank-you gift for any participants in your group to make the event even better.

Emergency Nurses Day FAQs

What does an emergency nurse do?

Emergency nurses specialize in emergency and trauma care. Some emergency nurses work in trauma centers, while others work in hospital ERs. Emergency nurses provide immediate attention and care when it matters most. 

Emergency nurses are the first to face a crisis head-on. Whether it’s a severe illness or injury, their quick thinking, fast response, and dedication help them save lives. In addition, they always think ahead and go out of their way to stabilize and support their patients.

What are the types of emergency nurse certifications?

The Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN) offers five certifications for emergency nurses. Any nurse looking to specialize in emergency care can become a: 

  • Certified Emergency (CEN)

  • Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse (CPEN)

  • Certified Emergency Transport Nurse (CETN)

  • Certified Emergency Flight Nurse (CEFN)

  • Trauma Certified Emergency Nurse (TCEN). 

Is being an emergency nurse hard? 

Emergency nursing is one of the most challenging and physically demanding specializations. Emergency nurses are used to dropping everything at a moment’s notice to provide urgent care or life-saving treatments. 

While there are moments of high stress and even grief, emergency nurses love what they do. Caring for people and saving lives is a tremendous achievement and a source of pride. 

How can I become an emergency nurse?

You can become an emergency nurse by first earning your RN license. After that, the career path looks a little different for everyone. You can start by earning your nursing degree, then passing the NCLEX. Then, you can specialize in emergency and trauma care during clinical internships and externships.

After you’ve gained enough experience, you can apply for jobs in hospitals or trauma centers. You can also earn certification as a Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) or Trauma Certified Emergency Nurse (TCEN) through the BCEN.

What is Nurse Appreciation Week?

Nurse Appreciation Week happens in May, celebrating all nurses throughout the United States and worldwide. In addition, emergency Nurses Day and EN Week is a special time to recognize the nurses in emergency care.