nurses week

OAAPN is once again celebrating National Nurses Week. The week begins each year on May 6 and is capped off on May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Florence Nightingale’s influence can be witnessed in all aspects of the nursing profession.

A Celebration Rich in History

Dorothy Sutherland of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare started the movement to honor nurses in 1953 when she sent a proposal to President Eisenhower to proclaim a “Nurse Day” in October of the following year. The proclamation was never made. However, in 1954 “National Nurse Week” was observed from October 11–16. The year of the observance marked the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s mission to Crimea.

After a few more attempts, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) proclaimed that May 12 would be “International Nurse Day.” Since 1965, the ICN has celebrated “International Nurse Day.” In February of that year, President Nixon issued an official proclamation designating “National Nurse Week.” Celebrations have continued since and are supported by the ANA.

A Culture of Safety

Each year, ANA sponsors events across the country that honor nurses and support the national theme. This year’s theme, Culture of Safety, promotes ways in which culturally congruent care and diversity in the work place can close gaps in care linked to cultural and racial differences. Be sure to visit ANA’s website for complete details on planned events and ways in which you can cultivate a culture of safety in your practice and share with us how you will be celebrating throughout the week.