When is Nurse Appreciation Day and Week? (And What Happens)

Since its founding in 1896, the American Nurses Association (ANA) has worked to support and promote the nursing profession around the world.

At the local, state, and regional levels, each of the American Nurses Association’s state and territorial nurses’ organizations strives to enhance the nursing profession.

On these days, each organization commemorates the contributions that nurses and nursing professionals provide to the community in order to acknowledge the accomplishments that they make. But when is Nurse Appreciation Day and Nurse Appreciation Week?

National Nurses Week is observed every year beginning on May 6 and concluding on May 12th. It is simpler to plan ahead of time when the dates are determined, and it also helps to establish National Nurses Week as a well-established and well-known event.

Since 1998, the 8th of May has been designated as National Student Nurses Day, which is celebrated on that day each year.

Each year since 2003, National School Nurse Day has been commemorated on the third Wednesday of National Nurses Week (which runs from May 6-12).

The exact date is determined by the American Nurses Association.

A number of organizations, including state and district nurses’ associations, other specialty nursing groups, educational facilities and independent health care corporations and institutions, are all encouraged to participate in National Nurses Week celebration activities, according to the American Nurses Association (ANA board of directors).

Is There a National Nurses Appreciation Day?

It has been honored by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) in a variety of ways since its founding in 1965.

Nursing Day was suggested by Dorothy Sutherland, a Department of Health, Education, and Welfare employee, in 1953.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower did not endorse the proposal made by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

Both National Nurses Day and what has come to be known as “Week of the Nurse” (national nurse week) are publicly acknowledged observances that are widely commemorated to express gratitude for these important workers and to honor the nursing profession’s vital and distinctive contributions to health care and society as a whole.

May 12 was selected for the celebration since it is the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the originator of modern nursing, and was decided in January 1974.

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) develops and distributes the International Nurses Day Kit every year.

Nurses from all around the world may benefit from the instructional and public information elements in the package. Since 1998, May 8 has been observed annually as National Student Nurses’ Day.

May 12 was selected for the celebration since it is the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the originator of modern nursing, and was decided in January 1974.

National Nurses Week starts on May 6 and finishes on May 12, which happens to be the birthday of Florence Nightingale (May 12, 1820 – August 13, 1910), who is celebrated as the “Mother of Modern Nursing.”

In addition to being a well-known social reformer, statistician, and the creator of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale was also a well-known Englishwoman.

As a result of her work caring for injured troops during the Crimean War, she gained widespread recognition.

Because she made her rounds at night, Nightingale was called “The Lady with the Lamp” because of her reputation.

What Date Is Nurses Appreciation Day?

National Nurses Day is marked on May 6 every year. On this day, we raise awareness about the contributions nurses make to our society and the sacrifices they make on their own behalf.

This day also happens to be the first day of National Nurses Week, and it’s also known as National Registered Nurse Recognition Day in certain circles.

How Do Nurses Appreciate Nurses Week?

It is critical to honor nursing caregivers for the vital work and the positive contributions they make.

Nurses are essential to the success of their firms, professions, and the advancement of healthcare in general, from delivering high-quality patient care to having a good impact on the community.

In addition to effectively demonstrating genuine regard for leaders, continuous appreciation and celebration have been shown to impact employee morale and engagement positively.

When nurses participate in ‘Nurses Night Out’ activities and nursing award recognition ceremonies, they show their appreciation for the hard work and accomplishments that they have made over the year.

When is Nurse Appreciation Day and Week blog post image

When Is Nurse Appreciation Week in Canada?

To coincide with Florence Nightingale’s birthday, on May 12, 2022, National Nursing Week activities will run from Monday through Sunday throughout that week, from May 9 to 15.

During Nurses Week, the public, lawmakers, and government officials are reminded of the important role nurses play to improve the health of Canadians and their families.

In 1985, members of the CNA voted a resolution urging the organization to commence discussions with the federal government to have the week beginning May 12 designated as National Nurses Week every year.

Soon after, the federal minister of health declared the second week of May to be National Nurses Week, and the celebration began.

National Nursing Week was established in 1993 as a way to honor the contributions of the nursing community as a whole.

Activities and Ideas to Celebrate Nurses Appreciation Day/Week

On National Nurses Day or Nurses Week, you wish to recognize your healthcare workers every year. The nature of their employment may make healthcare professionals more prone to burnout.

Here are some ways to thank nurses for this work.

Publicize National Nurses Week Around the City.

Encourage your community to recognize the benefits of nursing. Make a joint announcement with other local healthcare clinics and hospitals about National Nurses Week.

Remember a Special Nurse

You may celebrate National Nurses Week by honoring a nurse or nurses who have made significant contributions to your community.

Years of service, shown dedication to nursing, exceptional patient care, or other criteria may be the cause.

Hold a celebratory luncheon or after-hours gathering to honor your outstanding nurses.

Collect Nurses Week Resources

The American Nurses Association has excellent resources for groups celebrating National Nurses Week.

Personalized diplomas and marketing materials are among their freebies.

Nurses Meditation or Yoga Week

Join your nursing team in yoga or meditation! Solicit 5-10 minutes of meditative rest during nurses’ lunches.

You may refer them to this 7-minute meditation video. You may also watch yoga online.

What Else Can National Nurse Week be Called?

Depending on where you are, you may hear this celebration called different things, such as:

  • National nurse week
  • National nurses day
  • National recognition day
  • National rn recognition day
  • International nurse day
  • National registered nurse day
  • Recognition day for nurses


National Nurses Week begins on May 6 and ends on May 12. Since 1998, the 8th of May has been recognized as National Student Nurses Day.

May 12 was chosen for the commemoration since it is the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

This is also the first day of National Nurses Week, and in certain quarters, it is also known as National Registered Nurse Recognition Day.

Florence Nightingale’s (May 12, 1820 – August 13, 1910) birthday is commemorated as the “Mother of Modern Nursing.”

When nurses engage in ‘Nurses Night Out’ events and nursing award recognition ceremonies, they demonstrate their gratitude for the year’s hard work and successes.

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) created International Nurses Day in 1971 on May 12, the birthday of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale.

In 1993, the name of the event was changed to National Nursing Week to reflect the accomplishments of the whole profession.

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