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March 29, 2021


National Nurses Week

March 29, 2021

Now more than ever, National Nurses Week is a time to celebrate those who have sacrificed so much, not just over the past year – but throughout their whole career.

So Nurses Week:

  • What is it?
  • How did it start?
  • How can I show my appreciation for the nurses or nurses in my life?

No worries, we got you!

What is Nurses Week?

National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6th and ends on May 12th (Florence Nightingale’s birthday).

Beginning in 1998, May 8th was designated as National Student Nurses Day and is celebrated annually to this day! As of 2003, National School Nurse Day is also celebrated on the Wednesday of National Nurses Week every year.

Especially today, National Nurses Week and the days therein are a time to celebrate these heroes as they fight on the frontlines of COVID-19.

A Little History...

It all started with Florence Nightingale.

Florence Nightingale was born in Florence, Italy, on May 12th, 1820. During the Crimean War, she and a team of nurses banned together to improve the unsanitary conditions at a British hospital, reducing the death count by two-thirds. Her writings are what initially sparked worldwide healthcare reform.

All in all, she was a pretty big deal.

The ANA or American Nurses Association has promoted nursing since 1896. They are the ones who have consistently made sure that the commitment nurses make to protecting and improving healthcare for everyone is recognized each year. 

A Few Milestones

1953: Dorothy Sutherland of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare sent a proposal to President Eisenhower to proclaim a “Nurse Day” in October of the following year. However, the proclamation was never made.

1974: In February of that year, a week was designated by the White House as National Nurse Week, and President Nixon issued a proclamation.

1982: In February, the ANA Board of Directors formally acknowledged May 6, 1982, as “National Nurses Day.” The action affirmed a joint resolution of the United States Congress designating May 6 as “National Recognition Day for Nurses.”

1982: President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation on March 25, proclaiming “National Recognition Day for Nurses” to be May 6, 1982.

1990: The ANA Board of Directors expanded the recognition of nurses to a week-long celebration, declaring May 6 – 12, 1991, as National Nurses Week.

1993: The ANA Board of Directors designated May 6 – 12 as permanent dates to observe National Nurses Week in 1994 and in all subsequent years. 

Timeline courtesy of

How Can I Celebrate the Nurses in My Life?

Now more than ever, nurses are being recognized for their heroism and sacrifice during the COVID-19 pandemic, which makes celebrating them that much more important!

Check out the top 4 ways to celebrate your favorite nurse:

1. Send Them Flowers!

Especially considering the current world we live in, seeing someone in person can be a wee bit tricky; sending them flowers is an easy but thoughtful way to show them how much they mean to you!

Who wouldn’t love a surprise flower arrangement showing up at their doorstep!?

2. Send Lunch

Another super easy way to show them you’re thinking about them!

Send their favorite meal or a gift card to their favorite spot for lunch on you!

3. Send a Plant

A plant is a great (and long-lasting) gift with multiple health and air quality benefits!

Pro tip: Be sure the lovely nurse you’re sending to has the time to care for the plant you send.

If you’re looking for some super easy-to-care-for plants to send, check out these 5 Houseplants For The Brown Thumb!

However you decide to say it, be sure to say a big THANK YOU to all of the healthcare workers in your life this Nurses Week!