National Nurses Day is celebrated each year on May 6 and marks the start of National Nursing Week, which runs through May 12 ending on Florence Nightingale’s birthday1.
The week was first observed in the United States in October 1954 to mark the 100th anniversary of Nightingale’s pioneering work in Crimea. Twenty years later, in February 1974, a week was designated by the White House as National Nurse Week to be celebrated annually in May. Over the next eight years, various nursing organizations including the American Nurses Association (ANA) rallied to support calls for a “National Recognition Day for Nurses” on May 6, which was eventually proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1982.2,3
Today the nation’s 4.3 million registered nurses4 are the heart of medical care, working in every aspect of health care to ensure patients receive the direct and proper care they need. They are on the frontlines every day and there for us during many of our most vulnerable moments.
Remember to say thank you to the nurses in your lives this week in recognition of their hard work and dedication to caring for others.
Help us support the incredible work of our nurses at the UCSF Department of Ophthalmology and Francis I. Proctor Foundation. Please go to our donation page and make a gift in their honor today!
Celebrate the week and share your activities using the hashtags: #NationalNursesDay #NursesDay #Nursesweek #NursesDayCelebration #NursesAppreciation