National Nurses Week begins on May 6th of every year. According to National Today, the United States first celebrated this week in 1954 to mark the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s “pioneering work in Crimea.” The week also aligns with Nightingale’s birthday, which is May 12.
Nurses can be found in various facilities in our country, including hospitals, doctor’s offices, nursing homes, and in-home care. In fact, the same National Today article says facilities across the United States employ over three million nurses.
Nurses make up most of the healthcare workforce in the United States and do many things that deserve merit.
A nurse walks nearly four miles during an average shift. On top of this, they must keep up with several patients at once, communicate with multiple doctors, obtain information from lab technicians and other staff, and relay everything from their shift to the next nurse when it’s time to clock out. A high level of emotional and mental stress is attached to these jobs, and most people don’t realize this.
Knowing how hard these individuals work, celebrating them, and telling them they are seen and appreciated can carry a great impact.
How would nurses like to be celebrated during National Nurses’ Week? There are varying opinions online, but a blog from Nurses.com stated most nurses don’t want mugs or pens. They want professional development and moral support. These recognitions would serve the nurses much longer and have a more significant impact than a small, non-personalized gift.
If you would like to celebrate the nurses in your neighborhood but can’t make institutional changes that can benefit them, try these ideas instead:
- A gift basket with lotions, pens, and cozy socks
- A snack basket or pizza delivery for the unit
- Handwritten notes thanking local nurses for their service
- Gift cards to a local spa or pedicure
- Breakfast delivery or coffee shop gift cards
- A sign of gratitude in your windows at home or on your car’s windshield
More importantly, acknowledge nurses whenever you see them, not just during National Nurses’ Week. And, if you are lucky enough to personally know one of these essential healthcare workers, do something that you know would mean a lot to them.
The world is too dark and dismal lately not to find things to celebrate daily. Nurses are under a constant state of stress and mental angst. They deserve to find silver linings in their day.
Photo by Laura James on Pexels