National Nurses Week starts May 6th and goes until Florence Nightingale’s birthday on May 12th. This week of recognition for nurses takes place every year and has been celebrated annually for many years.
A celebration or recognition of nurses has been taking place since 1953 when a proposal was sent to President Eisenhower to proclaim “Nurse Day” in October, but it never came to be. From 1954 to 1973 various people tried to pass a bill or have the President proclaim National Nurses Day and finally in 1974 the International Council of Nurses (ICN) proclaimed May 12th, would be proclaimed “International Nurse Day”. The ICN had been celebrating this since 1965.
In 1982 President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation, proclaiming “National Recognition Day for Nurses” to be May 6. Then finally, in 1990 the ANA Board of Directors designated May 6 – 12 as permanent dates to observe National Nurses Week every year (ANA).
To to all our nurses, enjoy your week of recognition as vitally important members of the healthcare team. We appreciate every one of you!
American Nurses Association (2021). National Nurses Week History. Retrieved from