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National Nurses Week

Folks, this is National Nurses Week.

According to the American Nurses Association, National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6th and ends on May 12th.  Florence Nightingale’s birthday.  These permanent dates enhance planning and position National Nurses Week as an established recognition event. As of 1998, May 8 was designated as National Student Nurses Day, to be celebrated annually.  And as of 2003, National School Nurses Day is celebrated on the Wednesday within National Nurses Week (May 6-12) each year.

The nursing profession has been supported and promoted by the American Nurses Association (ANA) since 1896.  Each of ANA’s state and territorial nurses associations promotes the nursing profession at the state and regional levels.  Each conducts celebrations on these dates to recognize the contributions that nurses and nursing make to the community.

Some history….

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

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.

1996 The ANA initiated “National RN Recognition Day” on May 6, 1996, to honor the nation’s indispensable registered nurses for their tireless commitment 365 days a year.  The ANA encourages its state and territorial nurses associations and other organizations to acknowledge May 6, 1996 as “National RN Recognition Day.”

1997 The ANA Board of Directors, at the request of the National Student Nurses Association, designated May 8 as National Student Nurses Day.

There’s a special place in heaven for caring nurses in my view.  So if you happen to see a nurse this week, thank him or her for the care they give to and the good work they do for their patients in our community and beyond.

Daniel L. Hightower, Lawyer