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Celebrating Nurses During the Month of May

Celebrating Nurses During the Month of May

Each May we set aside time to express our appreciation for the passionate and dedicated professionals who contribute so much to the health and well being of each of us—nurses.

The commemorative month kicks off on May 6th with National Nurse’s Day. The week of May 6th-12th is designated as National Nurses Week, and everyone is encouraged to use the week to let the nurses in our lives know just how special they are.

This year’s theme, “4 Million Reasons to Celebrate,” is a reminder of the many selfless individuals who make such a difference in our lives.


National Nurses week dates back to 1954 when it was first observed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightengale’s Mission to Crimea. In 1974 the International Council of Nurses set aside May 12th, the birthday of Florence Nightengale, as National Nurses Day.

Until 1982, Nurses were celebrated in February, but at the encouragement of the American Nurses Association, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed May 6th as Nurses Day. It was later expanded to include the week of May 6-12.

National Nurses Week became an annual celebration in 1994. The month of May is now the month when people from all walks of life recognize the impact of the nation’s 4 million registered nurses throughout society.

The ANA Drives Nurse Appreciation

The American Nurses Association (ANA) takes the lead on planning the annual celebration by creating the theme and publishing educational materials. The ANA encourages people to customize the messages they create to help publicize the yearly events. The critical points published this year include remembering that:

  • Nurses are everywhere we live, work, play, learn, and worship, and in every health care setting.
  • About 1 in every 100 Americans is a registered nurse.
  • Nurses have an unmatched perspective on prevention, wellness, and delivery of health care services.
  • This year’s theme is “4 Million Reasons to Celebrate” which is a shout out to the number of registered nurses in the U.S. This is the largest group of health care professionals.
  • The hashtag #ThankaNurse has been chosen to help spread the word about this year’s celebration.
  • When it comes to honesty and ethical standards, nurses are the most highly rated group of professionals.

These are just a few examples of information that can be used to help communicate the messages for this year’s recognition of nurses. The ANA website contains even more ideas for events you can sponsor to show appreciation to nurses.

Praise Our Nurses!

Join us in letting every nurse with whom you cross paths know how much you appreciate all they do and the many sacrifices they make every day. While it’s important to do this during the month of May, you certainly don’t have to wait. We strongly recommend that you recognize and praise nurses all year long!

All of us here at SOS are dedicated to helping nurses and facilities to find the jobs they love!