National Nurses Day 2024

May 3, 2024

Each year on May 6, we honor National Nurses Day, signaling the beginning of National Nursing Week, a celebration that extends until May 12, culminating on Florence Nightingale’s birthday.

This commemoration traces its origins back to October 1954 in the United States, initiated to mark the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s groundbreaking contributions during the Crimean War. Fast forward to February 1974, when the White House officially recognized a week in May as National Nurse Week, a tradition that has since been upheld annually. Subsequently, after concerted efforts by various nursing organizations, including the American Nurses Association (ANA), May 6 was designated as “National Recognition Day for Nurses” by President Ronald Reagan in 1982.

Today, the nation’s 4.3 million registered nurses serve as the cornerstone of our healthcare system, tirelessly delivering direct and comprehensive care across all facets of health. They stand on the frontlines every day, offering support during our most vulnerable moments.

Take a moment this week to express gratitude to the nurses in your life, acknowledging their unwavering dedication to serving others.

Join us in supporting the exceptional work of our nurses at the UCSF Department of Ophthalmology and Francis I. Proctor Foundation. Visit our donation page to make a contribution in their honor today!

Let’s celebrate this week together and share your activities using hashtags like #NationalNursesDay, #NursesDay, #Nursesweek, #NursesDayCelebration, and #NursesAppreciation.

For further information on the history and significance of this week, please refer to the following resources:

  1. Florence Nightingale,, – March 8, 2022 – 
  2. National Today, National Nurses Day – May 6, 2022 –
  3. ANA Enterprise, National Nurses Week History –
  4. ANA Enterprise, Nurses in the Workforce –