National Nurses Week

National Nurses Week is a holiday observed annually between May 6th and May 12th. This 7-day period is the perfect time for people to show nurses the appreciation they deserve. Nurses provide an invaluable service to patients, both in medical offices and hospital settings, and also to the organizations where they are employed.

Registered nurses provide and coordinate patient care, educate the public about various health conditions, and offer general support to patients and their families. Without the work of nurses, none of us would receive the level of medical care we are entitled to.

The History of National Nurses Week

On May 12th, 1974, International Nurses Day was created by the International Council of Nurses to call attention to the working conditions of nurses and to acknowledge the contributions they make—not only to their patients but also to their communities.

Over the next 20 years, the days devoted to observing this holiday continued to increase until, finally, in 1994, National Nurses Week was established. It has been observed ever since.

Some Important Facts About Nurses

Everyone either knows or has met a nurse at some point in their life, but most people know very little about the nursing profession. To rectify that, we’ve decided to list some facts that might lift the veil on the nursing profession and the jobs that nurses actually do. With that purpose in mind, let’s take a look at the following facts.

  • In the United States, there are almost 1 million Licensed Practical Nurses and 4.2 million Registered Nurses.
  • Registered Nurses make up about 2% of the United States’ total workforce.
  • It has been estimated that the average nurse walks about 5 miles during a 12-hour shift.
  • There are four times as many nurses in the U.S. as there are doctors.
  • International Nurses Day is celebrated on the date of Florence Nightingale’s birthday.
  • The world’s first nursing school was established in 250 BCE in India.
  • During the Civil War, the poet and essayist Walt Whitman worked as a volunteer nurse.

Observing National Nurses Week

National Nurses Week is an easy holiday to observe. All a person has to do is show nurses the respect they deserve by giving them thanks, either in person or on social media using the hashtag #NationalNursesWeek.

People can also learn more about the nursing profession and its history during this week. A great way for people to observe this week is by taking the time to donate blood. Blood donation is always a viable option for anyone looking to make a difference.

When is it?
This year (2024)
May 6 Monday
Next year (2025)
May 6 Tuesday
Last year (2023)
May 6 Saturday
Work & Occupation