May 6 is National Nurses Day

Today is National Nurses Day which means it’s time to show nurses how much you care about them.

Today actually kicks off National Nurses Week.

Altogether it’s time set aside to thank nurses and other healthcare workers for their tireless hard work, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our lives.

National Nurses Week ends on May 12, which is the birthday of Florence Nightingale: the founder of modern nursing. She became well-known while taking care of the wounded soldiers during the Crimean War. Nightingale was dubbed “the lady with the lamp” because of her habit of making rounds at night.

The nursing profession has been supported and promoted by the American Nurses Association since 1896. The week was first observed in 1954 from October 11-16. This was actually the 100 year anniversary Nightingale’s mission to Crimea.

There has been a long history of trying to make National Nurses Week official starting as far back at 1953 when Dorothy Sutherland of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare sent a proposal to 34th president Dwight D. Eisenhower.

A resolution was sent through the House of Representatives in 1972 to make “National Registered Nurse Day,” but that ended up falling through too. It wasn’t until February 1974 when the White House and President Richard Nixon issued a proclamation to designate an official National Nuse Week.

So, give nurses a well-deserved shout out this week. It took a while for us to get here.