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National Nurses Week

We take pride in the fact that the public has rated nursing as the most honest and ethical profession for the past 16 years. Our commitment to protecting, promoting, and improving health care for all is well recognized, and we serve the public in a wide range of roles and work settings. Therefore, it is only fitting that we take one week each year to celebrate our profession and the vital roles nurses play in health care. 

National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6th and ends on May 12th, Florence Nightingale's birthday. It features a host of events across the U.S. to honor nurses for the work they do, and educates the public about nurses’ role in health care.

While the first National Nurses Week was celebrated in 1954 – the 100th anniversary of Nightingale’s famous mission to the Crimea – it wasn’t until President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation that May 6th would henceforth be National Nurses Day that the annual celebration of nurses’ efforts would be nationally recognized.

ANA’s leading role

The American Nurses Association (ANA) has always led efforts to celebrate nursing, ensuring that recognition is promoted as widely as possible; and in 1990 extended it to a week-long celebration of the work of the nation’s registered nurses, the largest of the health care professions. ANA's state and territorial nurses associations also conduct celebrations during National Nurses Week to recognize the contributions that nurses and nursing make to the community. Every year ANA selects a theme for the week highlighting a particular aspect of nurses’ practice.   

This Year's Theme

2018 National Nurses Week Theme: "Nurses: Inspire, Innovate, Influence"

How you can take part

It’s not just organizations that have a role in supporting National Nurses Week. We encourage individuals to show their support too – offering merchandise and digital resources to help you show your appreciation for the work nurses do. You can shop at Nurse’s Week store or download our free digital tool-kit to show your support.

Most importantly, you can bookmark this page – and follow us on Facebook and Twitter – to make sure you are completely up to date with the plans for every year’s celebration.

Get everything you need to celebrate nurses week 

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The American Nurses Foundation is a separate charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation does not engage in political campaign activities or communications.

The Foundation expressly disclaims any political views or communications published on or accessible from this website.

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