Celebrating National Nurses Week

This year marks the 20th annual week-long celebration of nurses.

Yesterday marked the start of the 20th annual National Nurses Week, a tradition that is intended to “celebrate the contributions that nurses and nursing make to the community.”

The steps toward National Nurses Week began in 1953, when Dorothy Sutherland, US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, sent a proposal requesting that President Eisenhower proclaim a "Nurse Day" in October of the following year. Although it was never declared, National Nurses Week was celebrated the following year from October 11-16, marking the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s mission to Crimea. Although it took several more steps to get to what is now celebrated as National Nurses Week in May, not October, the weeklong celebration is now a yearly event.

So, physicians, show your appreciation by honoring your nurses with gifts, flowers, dinners, or some combination of all of these throughout the week. This year’s theme is “Nurses: Caring Today for a Healthier Tomorrow.”