We are just about at that time of year again when everyone should take that extra effort to make the nurse in your life feel a little extra-special. Nurses week is May 6th-May 12th of every year. “Nurses day” is officially May 6th. The purpose of these nationally recognized events is to honor and appreciate those caregivers that take care of us 365 days a year. In honor of this event I thought it would be fun to examine the history of nurses week to see where it came from.
1953 – Dorothy Sutherland (an official of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare) proposed to President Dwight D. Eisenhower that he should proclaim an official national “Nurses Day.” This proposal never happened.
1954 – Several associations began to observe National Nurses week on October 11th-16th in honor of Florence Nightingales mission to Crimea. A bill was sent to Congress to make this an official “week” but again, nothing happened.
1965 – The International Council of Nurses begins to celebrate “International Nurses Day.”
1972 – Another bill to recognize nurses officially is sent to the U.S. Congress, yet again, nothing happens.
1974 – The International Council of Nurses officially starts to celebrate Nurses Day on May 12th, in honor of Nightingale’s birthday. President Nixon makes a “proclamation” that there will be a nurses week
1978 – New Jersey Governor Brendon Byrne declares May 6th as “Nurses Day” for his state.
1982 – After a push by New Mexico Nurses and their congressman Manuel Lujan, a resolution was put to the U.S. Congress to officially make May 6th a national day for nurses. Shortly thereafter President Reagan officially signs the proclamation creating “National Recognition Day for Nurses” on May 6th.
1990 – The ANA officially expanded their recognition of nurses from a single day to “nurses week” that runs from May 6th through May 12th.
Who knew how much work went into establishing a national day to recognize those that truly deserve it!
Now that we have the quick history, I did want to take a second promote a pretty cool contest that is going on during this year’s nurses week. Fibers, Medical Solution, along with my company, scrubadoo.com, are putting on a t-shirt design contest. It is extraordinarily easy to enter (you really do not need to have any artistic ability!) and just for entering you will receive at least a $10 gift card to use on any scrubs at our store, plus you have the chance at winning over $1,000 in additional prizes. It is definitely worth checking out!