National Nurses Week: May 6 - 12
National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6th and ends on May 12th. These permanent dates enhance planning and position National Nurses Week as an established recognition event. As of 1998, May 8 was designated as National Student Nurses Day, to be celebrated annually. And as of 2003, National School Nurse Day is celebrated on the Wednesday within National Nurses Week (May 6-12) each year.
May 12th marks the birthdate of Florence Nightingale, who is considered as the pioneer of modern nursing. In her time, Nightingale was a social reformer, challenging political and societal norms. She believed that her purpose in life was to reduce human suffering. Nightingale recognized that those who were most vulnerable to suffering included those who were impoverished, with poor housing or sanitation, and poor nutrition. She advocated for health-care reform, including access to health care for all, and the inclusion and implementation of nursing as a profession.
From annual wellness exams to countless OBGYN office visits while pregnant, around-the-clock care while in hospital to urgent care visits for broken bones, nurses shape the healthcare experience and are a vital part of the care we receive when we need it most. They provide comfort, administer essential medications, change bandages, check our vital signs and so much more. Without nurses, healthcare as we know it simply wouldn't exist. They willingly give their time, talents and hearts to their patients day after day, and we owe them a show of our gratitude.
Here are a few ways you can show nurses in your community how much you appreciate them:
- Deliver lunch, a box of cookies, coffee or another special treat to the nursing staff at your doctor's office. From your GP to your OBGYN, your kids' pediatrician to your cardiologist, and your urgent care clinic to local hospital, there are nurses everywhere and who doesn't like the gift of food?
- Give a special nurse in your life the gift of new scrubs. Purchase a gift card so they can get the styles, colors and sizes they like. Many nurses have jumped on the FIG train - buy your gift card here.
- Post a yard sign in your front yard that shows appreciation for nurses this week. You'd be surprised by how many nurses live in your neighborhood!
- Send a "thank you" card to the nurses at your doctors' offices. Printed cards with handwritten notes are a lost art these days but still so cherished and appreciated by those who receive them.
- Post a "thank you" message for all the nurses out there on your social media page.
However you choose to show your gratitude for the important, meaningful work that nurses do for us every day, it's the thought that counts. Doing thoughtful things for others is a great way to make someone else's day while also filling up your own tank. Remember, what goes around comes around!
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