National Nurses Day 2024 (US): Exploring History, Activities, and Dates

Florence Nightingale, known as "The Lady With the Lamp," established modern nursing in the late 19th century, reducing mortality rates during the Crimean War.

National Nurses Day 2024: “The Lady With the Lamp,” or Florence Nightingale as she is more commonly known, established modern nursing at the end of the 19th century. Nursing as it is understood today was established during the Crimean War, when Nightingale and her assistants reduced the mortality rate from 42% to 2% by adhering to stringent hand-washing and hygiene practices while caring for wounded soldiers. We observe National Nurses Day on May 6 to honor the vital contribution that nurses make to our livelihoods.

National Nurses Day: History

National Nurses Day begins National Nursing Week, which ends on Florence Nightingale’s birthday, May 12. In October 1954, the US marked the week to commemorate Nightingale’s groundbreaking Crimean work.

In 1953, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare employee Dorothy Sutherland proposed “Nurse Day” in October to commemorate the occasion. Despite the President’s inaction, Representative Frances P. Bolton’s bill recognized the event. The following year, Congress introduced a bill to recognize the anniversary.

After two decades, President Nixon declared May National Nurse Week in February 1974. Over the next eight years, many nursing groups, including the American Nurses Association (ANA), advocated for a “National Recognition Day for Nurses” on May 6. President Ronald Reagan declared this day in 1982.

Nurses make up the majority of the US healthcare workforce, with over 3 million. It may surprise you that nurses suffer more back injuries than construction workers. Due to their physically demanding job, nurses walk 5 km per shift.

Neglect the idea that nurses work only in hospitals. Although 59% of RNs work in nursing homes or home visits, they do. They work nationwide to safeguard people’s happiness and health, and National Nurses Day is the perfect time to thank them!

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National Nurses Day: FAQs

Which day is Appreciation Day for Nurses?

We observe National Nurses Day on May 6 to honor the vital contribution that nurses make to our livelihoods.

Which week does National Nurses Week occur?

Annually, National Nurses Week occurs from May 6 to May 12. The conclusion of the week-long commemoration is Florence Nightingale’s birthday.

In Canada, is it National Nurses Day?

Commemorations for National Nurses Week will commence on May 6 and conclude on May 12. 2021’s designated theme is #WeAnswerTheCall.

National Nurses Day: Activities

Express gratitude to the nurses who have enriched your life.

The nursing profession is notorious for operating “behind the scenes.” An expression of gratitude can brighten a nurse’s day by demonstrating your appreciation for their diligent efforts. Among the more than 3 million registered nurses in the United States, there is a good possibility that at least one would be delighted to receive your expression of appreciation.

Donate a quantity of epinephrine

Frequently, nurses endure 12-plus hours of daily standing on their feet during arduous, thankless tasks. There is nothing more beneficial for a harried nurse than a caffeinated boost in a shift. National Nurses Day requires you to bring substantial quantities of coffee to your local clinic or hospital and inform the receptionist that you are there to pay tribute to the nursing staff.

Explore the woman who is to blame for everything.

Everyone is familiar with the name Florence Nightingale. However, are you aware of the reason she became famous? Acquire knowledge on National Nurses Day regarding this seminal woman who established the foundation for contemporary nursing. Consider viewing a documentary or reading an article about “The Lady with the Lamp.” Afterward, you will receive bonus points for reciting the Florence Nightingale Pledge.

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Five Facts About Florence Nightingale

She was fluent in six tongues.

In addition to speaking English, French, German, and Italian fluently, Florence was also proficient in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She educated the nation’s first nurse.

Before undertaking her journey to London, Linda Richards attended Bellevue Training School, where she subsequently attended Nightingale’s School of Nursing.

Named after her city of birth.

Her parents gave Florence the name of the Italian city where Nightingale was born, just like they did with her older sister Parthenope.

Her parents disapproved of her nursing.

It was associated with prostitution at the time and was regarded as a lower-class profession, so Mom and Dad needed some convincing.

She possessed a stuffed owl as her possession.

Nightingale rescued her cherished owl from a group of children who were engaging in street play and proceeded to have it stuffed following its demise.

National Nurses Day: Importance

Nursing serves as the foundation of healthcare.

Physicians may perform surgical procedures, prescribe medications, and diagnose patients, but their occupations would be rendered unfeasible without nurses. Daily, nurses engage in critical patient care by administering injections, conducting physical examinations, tending to wounds, and, in numerous instances, providing end-of-life support during physician absences. Nurses provide their presence during periods of utmost vulnerability.

Consistently, nurses are regarded as the most reliable profession.

Nurses likely know more about you than anyone else you have ever met. They have observed you nude, are aware of your weight (which they conceal! ), and are privy to all of your vital signs. Still, they are trustworthy. More than 80% of Americans, according to surveys, believe that nurses have “high” or “very high” ethical standards.

During their leisure time, they provide nursing care for family and friends.

Having a family member who is a nurse eliminates any concerns you may have regarding your health. Nurses consistently demonstrate their preparedness to provide medical guidance, administer medication, and promptly address any issues that may arise, even during the midst of Thanksgiving dinner, even when they are not working.

National Nurses Day: Dates

2024May 6Monday
2025May 6Tuesday
2026May 6Wednesday
2027May 6Thursday
2028May 6Saturday

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