Week Recognizes Nurses' Contributions to Health Care

Published Online: Monday, May 7th, 2018
The American Nurses Association is celebrating National Nurses Week in recognition of the contributions made by nurses to improve the health of the nation.1 According to the organization, there are more than 4 million registered nurses (RNs) working in the United States. Nurses comprise the country’s largest group of health care professionals, and they are employed in every setting throughout the industry.
National Nurses Week is annually observed May 6-12.1 The start of the week is traditionally celebrated as National RN Recognition Day, while May 12 was chosen as the final day of the all-encompassing week in recognition of Florence Nightingale’s birthday, permanently honoring the nursing pioneer. In addition, May 8 is designated as National Student Nurses Day, and the Wednesday within the week-long observation is celebrated as National School Nurse Day.2
In a press release, Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FANN, and president of the ANA, urged nurses to become passionate about public health, and to advocate for the causes that are important to them. “Because of nurses’ wide-ranging roles, and our sheer numbers, we are well positioned to identify, and help solve many public health problems in the course of providing individual care to our patients, and their families,” said Dr. Cipriano, in the press release. “Nurses have successfully used our voices and expertise to inspire, innovate, and influence to advance the health of our nation.”
The ANA is focusing this year’s National Nurses Week on the theme “Nurses: Inspire, Innovate, Influence,” as part of its “Year of Advocacy.”1 The theme recognizes nurses’ ability to influence the profession, as well as other aspects of health care. Nurses can find advocacy resources on the organization’s website.
  1. ANA celebrates National Nurses Week, recognizes nurses’ impact on health care [news release]. Silver Spring, MD; May 4, 2018. ANA website. https://www.nursingworld.org/news/news-releases/2018/ana-celebrates-national-nurses-week/. Accessed May 7, 2018.
  2. American Nurses Association. National Nurses Week history. ANA website. https://www.nursingworld.org/education-events/national-nurses-week/nnw-history/. Accessed May 4, 2018.

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