What is Nurses Week

National Nurses Week was established to show appreciation to nurses who make an unparalleled impact in the healthcare system and the lives of their patients. We depend on nurses to care for us in our most vulnerable moments and they have been ranked as the most trusted profession by the Gallup Honesty and Ethics poll since 2002.

Nurses Week allows us to give back to the nurses in our lives. It begins on May 6th and ends on May 12th – Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Florence Nightingale, a.k.a “The Lady with the Lamp” was a British nurse, social reformer and statistician known for being the founder of modern nursing. Nightingale established St. Thomas’s Hospital and the Nightingale Training School for Nurses in 1860 and improved the quality patient of care into the 19th and 20th centuries.

The week includes many specific days including National Nurses Day, National Student Nurses Day, and National School Nurse Day intended to honor nurses in various fields.

History of Nurses Week

Here are some key facts on the history of the observance of National Nurses Week:

1953 – Dorothy Sutherland, an employee of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, proposed establishing a “Nurse Day” to President Dwight Eisenhower.

1954 – The first Nurses Week was celebrated from October 11th – 16th to mark the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s mission to Crimea. A bill for a National Nurses Week was introduced to Congress, but no action was taken.

1974 – President Richard Nixon issued a proclamation establishing a week in May to be celebrated as “National Nurse Week.”

1982 – President Ronald Reagan proclaimed May 6, 1982 to be “National Recognition Day for Nurses.”

1993 – The American Nurses Association Board of Directors declared May 6th – 12th as National Nurses Week for 1994 and all subsequent years.

Learn more about the history of Nurses Week from the American Nurses Association.

How to Celebrate

There are lots of ways to celebrate Nurses Week! Here at Maxim, our offices are celebrating nurses in various ways including cards, tokens of appreciation, and thank you calls.

Here are some other ideas to celebrate the Maxim nurses in your life:

  • Promote Nurses Week in your community
  • Spread appreciation on social media
  • Participate in a community event and invite a Maxim nurse
  • Invite a nurse out for a special lunch
  • Give out goody bags

Maxim is proud of our awesome nurses. Check out our official 2022 Nurses Week video.