Celebrating Nursing Professionals in May
Written by Rose Torrento on Friday, May 05, 2023 Posted in Industry News
National Nurses Week is a time to recognize and celebrate the contributions of nurses in the healthcare industry — and to society as a whole. This week is a time to honor the dedication and hard work of the millions of nurses who tirelessly care for patients in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings. Whether working on the front lines of a pandemic or providing daily care to an aging population, nurses play a vital role in our communities. They deserve our gratitude and appreciation!
The history of National Nurses Week
The tradition of celebrating nurses in May dates all the way back to 1953, when Nurse Day was first proposed by the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Then, in 1974, the International Council of Nurses proclaimed May 12 — the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the mother of modern nursing — as International Nurse Day. The same year, President Nixon issued a proclamation designating a whole week to celebrate nurses.
Over the next decade or so, May 6 was usually recognized as the start of National Nurses Week. In 1990, May 6-12 was officially designated as National Nurses Week for the first time. Three years later, the American Nurses Association (ANA) Board of Directors permanently set those dates to be celebrated every year going forward, aiming to recognize nurses for their integral role in the healthcare industry.
Celebrating travel nurses in the field
Nurses are the backbone of the healthcare industry. They touch many lives daily and change them for the better across a wide range of specialties: pediatric, cardiac, oncology, emergency, and others. No matter where they focus their time, effort, and energy, nurses are, above all, caretakers.
Travel nurses hold a special place within this field. They go where help is needed most and jump into difficult roles willingly because they’re driven to help. Their nature as caregivers not only extends to any special certifications they have but also transcends any single ward, facility, or healthcare organization.
Travel nurses embody what it means to be a nurse: answering the call for help no matter where it takes them. During National Nurses Week — and throughout May — we’re recognizing and celebrating these professionals for their above-and-beyond approach to caregiving!
How to celebrate nurses
No matter the type of nurse or where they work, now is an especially important time for them to be appreciated — they’re more essential than ever. Organizations need to show their appreciation, and there’s no shortage of ways to do so:
- Writing genuine thank-you notes to staff nurses
- Hosting fun gatherings and team-building events
- Nominating nurses for formal recognition
- Sending gifts like flowers or trinkets with special meaning
This appreciation doesn’t need to happen only in May. All throughout the year, employers can show care for their nurses by listening to what they need to be supported. Nurses can help lift one another up too!
Nurse appreciation goes beyond a week
The recognition nurses deserve is bigger than any single week. They’re needed, seen, and appreciated each and every day — especially by the patients they care for. They deserve gratitude every day for everything they do. Thank the nurses in your life this week and every week!
About the Author
Rosemarie Torrento has worked in health care for more than 26 years, beginning as a registered nurse in 1988. Early in her nursing career, Torrento worked as a freelance contract nurse before accepting a position in nursing administration. During her 17-year tenure in that role, she oversaw nursing employment and travel nurse contracting at a Level 1 Trauma Hospital in Michigan. Understanding the challenges travel nurses faced, Torrento founded Health Providers Choice Inc. (HPC) in 2003. Through Torrento’s extensive experience and her role as President and CEO, HPC provides travel placement of registered nurses and allied health professionals to hospital systems nationally.