Nurses’ Week 2019

National Nurses’ week is a way to honor those who are the true backbone of the healthcare industry - nurses. National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6th and ends on May 12th, Florence Nightingale's birthday. Below is a brief history of the event, and how it came to be.

The History of Nurses' Week

1953 Dorothy Sutherland of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare sent a proposal to President Eisenhower to proclaim a "Nurse Day" in October of the following year. The proclamation was never made.

1954 National Nurse Week was observed from October 11 - 16. The year of the observance marked the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale's mission to Crimea. Representative Frances P. Bolton sponsored the bill for a nurse week. Apparently, a bill for a National Nurse Week was introduced in the 1955 Congress, but no action was taken. Congress discontinued its practice of joint resolutions for national weeks of various kinds.

1972 Again a resolution was presented by the House of Representatives for the President to proclaim "National Registered Nurse Day." It did not occur. 1974 In January of that year, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) proclaimed that May 12 would be "International Nurse Day." (May 12 is the birthday of Florence Nightingale.) Since 1965, the ICN has celebrated "International Nurse Day."

1974 In February of that year, a week was designated by the White House as National Nurse Week, and President Nixon issued a proclamation. 

1978 New Jersey Governor Brendon Byrne declared May 6 as "Nurses Day." Edward Scanlan, of Red Bank, N.J., took up the cause to perpetuate the recognition of nurses in his state. Mr. Scanlan had this date listed in Chase's Calendar of Annual Events. He promoted the celebration on his own.

1981 American Nurses Association (ANA), along with various nursing organizations, rallied to support a resolution initiated by nurses in New Mexico, through their Congressman, Manuel Lujan, to have May 6, 1982, established as "National Recognition Day for Nurses."

1982 In February, the ANA Board of Directors formally acknowledged May 6, 1982 as "National Nurses Day." The action affirmed a joint resolution of the United States Congress designating May 6 as "National Recognition Day for Nurses."

1982 President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation on March 25, proclaiming "National Recognition Day for Nurses" to be May 6, 1982.

1990 The ANA Board of Directors expanded the recognition of nurses to a week-long celebration, declaring May 6 - 12, 1991, as National Nurses Week.

1993 The ANA Board of Directors designated May 6 - 12 as permanent dates to observe National Nurses Week in 1994 and in all subsequent years.

Why did you become a nurse?

Nurses are at the center of everything we do at Firelands Regional Medical Center, and we can’t thank them enough for the dedication, compassion, and commitment. 

Every day, nurses have to deal with so many different types of situation. Some might be easy or straight forward, and some might be so stressful and emotional they wonder how they can continue their day – but they always do. And they continue to do this on a daily basis, nurses are fearless.

This year, Firelands Regional Medical Center is celebrating with almost 600 nurses on our staff. All these wonderful people are what make Firelands a great place to receive care. 

We asked our nurses, why they love doing their job. Here are some of the responses we received: 

I decided to become an oncology nurse after several family members went through personal battles with cancer. During this, I recognized the unique opportunities I would have as an oncology nurse to make the cancer journey a smoother experience by providing personalized education, and support to both my patients and the members of their support system. I am able to provide the same care to them as I would my family.” -  Amanda S., BSN,RN,OCN

I became a nurse to provide the care that I would want, and expect, if I were hospitalized.” – Christina, RN

“I became a nurse because I wanted to make a difference in someone’s life through the art of medicine.  I wanted to work with a multidisciplinary team who comes together with a mutual dedication to help patients and families through some of the most difficult times in their lives.  I wanted to be that soft place for patients to fall in the hopes that when they look back they can say, she helped make that time not be as scary as it could have been.  I became a nurse leader with the hopes that I can inspire my fellow nurses to have just as much passion and love for the nursing profession as I do!” - Kimberly S., MSN, RN, OCN

Thank a Nurse - any day of the year!

We hope you will join us in extending your thanks and gratitude to a nurse that has helped you, or a loved one.