It's time to celebrate Nurses!

Work at a Skilled Nursing Facility? Time to Celebrate! 

This year, nurses at skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes alike have plenty to celebrate. We've made it through a challenging year, and the annual National Nurses Week celebration from May 6 through May 12 and National Nurses Day celebration on May 12 has arrived just in time.  

How did National Nurses Day and National Nurses Week get their start?  (Hint: Florence Nightingale's birthday is May 12) 

You may have already seen hints of celebrations to come in your place of work.  

But how did these celebrations get their start? And why? 

The American Nurses Association (ANA) has promoted the nursing profession since 1896. Each of ANA's state and territorial nurses’ associations promotes the nursing profession at the state and regional levels, recognizing the contributions nurses make to the community. ANA also encourages programs through state and district nurses’ associations, other specialty nursing organizations, educational facilities, and independent health care companies and institutions. 

Historical highlights for this celebration include: 

  • October 11–16, 1954

    A National Nurse Week celebration marked the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale's mission to Crimea.  

  • January 1974

    The International Council of Nurses (ICN) identified May 12 as "International Nurse Day." 

  • February 1974

    The White House designated a week as National Nurse Week, and President Nixon issued a proclamation. 

  • February 1982

     The ANA board of directors chose May 6, 1982, as "National Nurses Day"—a move that affirmed the U.S. Congress's joint resolution designating May 6 as "National Recognition Day for Nurses." 

  • 1982

    President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation proclaiming May 6, 1982, "National Recognition Day for Nurses." 

  • 1990

    The ANA board expanded the recognition of nurses to a week-long celebration, declaring May 6 - 12, 1991 National Nurses Week. 

  • 1993

    The ANA board designated May 6 - 12 permanent dates to observe National Nurses Week in 1994 and subsequent years. 

  • May 6, 1996

     The ANA initiated "National RN Recognition Day" to honor the nation's registered nurses for their tireless commitment.  

  • 1997

    The ANA board designated May 8 as National Student Nurses Day. 

As you can see, our nursing community has a long history of celebrating nurses' service with a wide variety of people and fellow celebrants. 

As a valued member of the healthcare profession, nurses deserve to be celebrated, especially after the extreme working environment many experienced because of COVID. ShiftMed wishes you and all our nurses a very Happy Nurses Week!