Here at Majestic Care, we are excited to celebrate National Nurses Week and highlight the nursing profession for its tremendous contributions. We are incredibly thankful for the compassion and dedication of our nurses that serve our residents. National Nurses Week starts on May 6th and ends on May 12th, Florence Nightingale’s birthday, the founder of modern nursing.
The history of National Nurses week is over 60 years in the making. Unfortunately, it was not a straightforward process for nurses to receive their proper recognition. National Nurses week began with “Nurse Day.” In 1953, President Eisenhower received a proposal from Dorothy Sutherland, of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, asking for “Nurses Day” to be proclaimed the following year in October. This celebration would be in honor of the upcoming 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s work in Crimea. This proposal wasn’t fulfilled but the week was still celebrated in 1954 thanks to representative Frances P. Bolton, who sponsored the bill for a nurse week.
In years following, many attempts were made by nursing organizations and supporters to begin an annual national celebration. Unfortunately, these attempts were to no avail. Twenty years later, in 1974, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) proclaimed that May 12th would be established as “International Nurses Day.” President Nixon also issued a proclamation from the White House that a week in February would be designated as National Nurses Week.
On February of 1982, the ANA (American Nurses Association) formally designated May 6, 1982, as “National Nurses Day”. In March, President Ronald Reagan signed an executive order for National Recognition Day for Nurses to be officially May 6, 1982.
In 1993, the ANA Board decided that nursing profession deserved an entire week of celebration. ANA declared May 6-12th as National Nurses Week for 1994 and all preceding years. The purpose for the week was to celebrate and elevate the nursing profession.
National Nurses week is a momentous time of the year to call attention to the nursing profession and the impact it has made on our nation’s history. Often, despite their demanding work and compassionate care, nurses do not receive proper recognition. In 2021, Nurses Week has grown in significance as nurses have worked tirelessly amidst the global pandemic. Nurses around the world have displayed bravery and courage. This week provides the perfect opportunity to shower nurses with appreciation and for us to reflect on their accomplishments.
“How very little can be done under the spirit of fear.” – Florence Nightingale