nurse celebrating nurses week

Nurse’s Week Celebrates YOU!

Every May, the Nation celebrates the nursing profession during Nurse’s Week. The history of this time-honored tradition may surprise you. For example, did you know in 1953 various national and state congressional members rallied for the development of Nurses’ Day? Moreover, the first national nurses’ week occurred October 11-16, 1954 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s mission in the Crimea War. It was not until 1982 that a joint resolution by the United States Congress in conjunction with the American Nurses Association (ANA) resulted in the May 6th designation as nurse’s day. President Regan signed a proclamation on May 25, 1982, forever recognizing May 6th as National Recognition Day for Nurses. The ANA initiated "National RN Recognition Day" to honor the nation's indispensable registered nurses for their tireless commitment 365 days a year. In 1990, the ANA expanded nurses’ day into nurses’ week, by ending the weeklong celebration on May 12 (Florence Nightingale’s birthday) (American Nurse Association (ANA), ND).

The World Health Assembly, the governing body of the WHO, designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife to advance nurses’ vital position in transforming health care around the world. It also honors the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. This designation has been extended to include 2021 to elevate the profession and ensure nurses are leading efforts to improve health and health care (ANA, 2021). Additionally, the ANA has designated May 2021 as National Nurse’s Month (ANA, 2021B)!

This year’s theme is: “Nurses: A Voice to Lead, A Vision for the Future Healthcare.” The theme is to focus awareness on the need for nurses to become more active and vocal in policy development and implementation (Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nurses (OAAPN, 2021).

2021 is a time to celebrate the efforts made by nurses everywhere to improve health conditions globally; recognize and reflect upon the challenging conditions nurses face in practice, whether they be physical, emotional, or mental; and, then take strides toward increasing and better caring for the existing nursing workforce (OAAPN, 2021).

Nurses are doers, we have not and will not give up or back down from the incredible challenges that face us in 2021. Celebrate your successes and your resilience, as the healthcare community could not do it without YOU.

Happy Nurses’ Month, 2021! Know that you are acknowledged and appreciated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

Click here to learn more about Nurses Week 2021 and Year of the NURSE 2020/2021

American Nurse Association (ANA). 2021. Year of the nurse FAQs
ANA. 2021B. 2021. Honoring Nurses.
ANA. ND. National nurse’s week history

Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nurses. (2021). National nurses week.