With attention focused on nurses during National Nurses Week, it’s an ideal time to plan an event, conduct media outreach, advocate for the profession, and promote the value of nursing. Some of these ideas also can be executed at other times of the year, so keep them in mind if you can’t carry them out May 6-12, 2013, or pencil them in for Nurses Week 2014.
- Invite a politician -- local, state or federal -- to accompany one or more nurses while on the job. Health care remains an important issue to voters. Politicians should be visible and accountable for their positions on health care. This offers good media coverage potential.
- Request a hearing before local government or arrange a “Town Hall” meeting on nursing's concerns (adequate staffing, quality of care).
- Request a proclamation from your mayor/governor declaring May 6 as National RN Recognition Day and/or May 6-12 as National Nurses Week. (Sample proclamation is available.)
- Recognize all registered nurses who are in your state legislature and hold an event at the state capitol. Take the opportunity to educate state legislators about the role and value of registered nurses in the health care system.
- Hold a special celebration or reception to recognize one or more nurses in your community for heroic acts, years of service to the community, exemplary courage, or commitment to the profession.
- Promote a positive, realistic image of RNs by sponsoring health fairs, conducting preventive screenings in underserved areas, organizing a walk-a-thon..
- Sponsor a community-wide event, such as a coloring or poem-writing contest for students. The children could acknowledge their favorite nurse, a famous nurse, or family member who is a nurse. The drawings or poems could be displayed in local schools, hospitals, nursing homes.
- Invite a local celebrity who has spoken about health care, been a patient; or has a family member who has been a patient) and request sponsorship of National RN Recognition Day and/or National Nurses Week. Hold an event and ask the celebrity to speak about a personal experience involving a nurse.
- Host a fund-raiser, such as a walk-a-thon, and donate money to a local charity. Emphasize the importance of RNs in the nation's health care system; pay tribute to a local nurse; or recognize all RNs who provide care all day, year-round.
- Organize a candlelight vigil on National RN Recognition Day (May 6) in honor of the hard work and commitment of the 3.1 million RNs in America.
- Obtain support from other nursing and health care organizations in your area by asking them to sponsor National RN Recognition Day and/or National Nurses Week and to hold a joint event with your organization.
- Write and distribute a press release announcing National RN Recognition Day and/or National Nurses Week. (Sample press release is available.)
- Place an article in your state or local newspaper(s) or a community blog about National Nurses Week and the contributions of nurses.
- Host a press conference. Discuss an important health care issue in your community; honor a registered nurse for a heroic act; or bestow an "honorary" nurse title to a deserving politician or civic leader.
- Host an editorial board meeting with leading state or local newspapers. Discuss the importance of RNs at the bedside and the nursing profession's concerns about current issues, specifically those related to quality of care and health care innovation.
- Suggest that your state or local newspaper solicit stories from readers who would like to pay tribute to a nurse who provided exemplary care.
- Ask every nurse in America to wear an "RN Pin" and/or nurse's uniform during National Nurses Week. The official "RN Pin" is available by calling 1-800-445-0445 (credit card orders only).
- Purchase promotional items for National Nurses Week (RN Pins, t-shirts, mugs, buttons). Catalog
- Work cooperatively with hospitals, schools, and libraries to set up a special display for National Nurses Week using promotional materials, such as, pins, t-shirts, posters.