National Nurses Week observed

Published 3:02 pm Friday, May 4, 2018

Practically everybody has had the occasion to visit a doctor’s office, the hospital or the school nurse at one point or another as nurses are an integral part of the medical profession. In order to recognize the contribution made by nurses, May 6 through May 12 is designated National Nurses Week.

According to the American Nurses Association (ANA) website, National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6, ending on Florence Nightingale’s birthday, May 12. The week features a host of events across the U.S. to honor nurses for the work they do, and educates the public about nurses’ role in health care.

The ANA Facebook page states this year’s theme for National Nurses Week is “Nurses: Inspire, Innovate, Influence.”

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National Nurses Week has a long history, with the origins of the observance dating back more than 50 years.

The ANA website states in 1954, National Nurse Week was observed from October 11-16. At that time, Rep. Frances P. Bolton sponsored the bill for a nurse week. There is evidence a bill for a National Nurse Week was introduced in the 1955 Congress, but no action was taken. Congress discontinued its practice of joint resolutions for national weeks of various kinds. In February of 1974, a week was designated by the White House as National Nurse Week, and President Nixon issued a proclamation.

The American Holistic Nurses Association has some suggestions on the website at for observing National Nurses Week, including: Contact organizations, associations and groups to seek their support for a Commemorative Moment for Florence Nightingale; create a banner and posters to display in your workplace (if permitted); work with local hospitals, home health care agencies, and other health-related facilities to set up a special display about the Florence Nightingale Moment and AHNA.