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Posted By: Debra A. Danforth, DNP, APRN, FAANP
May 10, 2022
May represents Nurses Month, with Nurses Week held annually from May 6 through May 12; the theme for 2022 is "Nurses Make a Difference." At its start, only International Nurses Day was acknowledged—which was established by the International Council of Nurses on May 12, 1974. This date holds particular significance in the field as the birthday of Florence Nightingale. In 1994, the American Nurses Association (ANA) Board of Directors officially recognized May 6 through 12 as National Nurses Week. In 1998, May 8 was first recognized as National Student Nurses Day. Finally, in 2003, the Wednesday of Nurses Week was recognized as National School Nurse Day.
This year, the ANA is celebrating Nurses Month with the following weekly themes:
- Week 1 (May 1-7): Self-care
- Week 2 (May 8-14): Recognition
- Week 3 (May 15-21): Professional Development
- Week 4 (May 22-31): Community Engagement
Did you know…
- The first recorded nursing school was established in India in 250 BCE, and only allowed men
- The first state-chartered nursing school in the US was opened in 1863; it was a 6-month program offered at the Woman's Hospital of Philadelphia
- The first independent nursing school in the US was established at Yale in 1923; this program accepted women into the school, which was uncommon for the time period
- Today, there are approximately 28 million nurses in the world, roughly 90% are females and 10% are males
- On a typical 12-hour shift, nurses walk 4 to 5 miles
- Nurse practitioner was ranked #2 on the "100 Best Jobs of 2022"
Some things you can do to celebrate Nurses Week include:
- Write a thank you note or an encouragement note to a nurse
- Thank a nurse with a meal or a coffee
- Send a self-care gift or gift box to a nurse/nurses' station
- Offer childcare support for nurses in your community
- Donate blood in honor of a nurse
Thank you for all you do and have a Happy Nurses Week!!
- American Nurses Association. National Nurses Week history. www.nursingworld.org/education-events/national-nurses-week/history/. Accessed May 10, 2022.
- American Nurses Association. Nurses Month toolkit. nursesmonth.org/nurses-month-toolkit/. Accessed May 10, 2022.
- National Today. National Nurses Week – May 6-12, 2022. nationaltoday.com/national-nurses-week/. Accessed May 10, 2022.
- The Lancet. The status of nursing and midwifery in the world. Lancet Editorial. 2020;395:P1167.
- US News and World Report. 100 best jobs. money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/rankings/the-100-best-jobs. Accessed May 10, 2022.