National Nurses Week 2019 and How to Celebrate

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When is National Nurses Week 2019?

National Nurses Week 2019 begins with National Nurses Day on Monday, May 6th and culminates on Saturday, May 12th, the birthday of the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale.

What is National Nurses Week?

First observed in October 1954 to mark the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s service during the Crimean War, Nursing Week was moved to May in 1974. In 1993, the week of May 6-12 was designated as the permanent dates to observe National Nurses Week for all subsequent years.

Why Celebrate Nurses?

Each year, this week is an opportunity to visibly recognize and celebrate the women and men who work tirelessly in the health care field keeping patients healthy, saving lives, and innovating approaches to improve the quality of life for all in their care. Nurses also educate, communicate, problem-solve, practice critical thinking, regularly work independently and as a team, multitask, document, create policy, and lead.

How to Celebrate National Nurses Week?

Our theme for National Nurses Week 2019 is Nurses: The Heartbeat of Healthcare. Why not use this opportunity to recognize the dedication and devotion of your wonderful nurses?

Bring guest speakers to your office, clinic, or hospital and provide an opportunity for additional education and professional development for your nurses. Pair each talk or seminar with a delicious breakfast or lunch and your nurses will be inspired and energized before heading back to the floor.

Roll out a new product or program to help your nurses streamline their many roles. No program prepared? Then conduct a short Q & A with your nurses (featuring scrumptious snacks, naturally) and create an actionable list of innovative ideas. Be sure to set a timeline for acting on one or more of them.

Invite local politicians, the board of directors, or upper non-nursing administration to pull on some scrubs and shadow your nurses for an hour or two. Your nurses will have an opportunity to discuss their vision for their department and field with leadership while giving them first-hand understanding of what nursing entails.

National Nurses Week Gift Ideas

Everyone knows it’s better to give than receive, but who doesn’t like to get a gift now and then? Don’t let National Nurses Week slip by without a token of appreciation for your amazing nurses.

Keep them hydrated with personalized water bottles or caffeinated with temperature-controlled tumblers. Boost their wardrobes with cozy custom socks, nursing team t-shirts, or fresh, new scrubs. Help them organize with personalized totes, laptop bags, or coolers, and don’t forget about colorful, fun pens. As one wise nurse commented “Pens are pretty scarce on the units. What would we do without a fresh supply during Nurses Week?”

Celebrate milestones with your nursing staff by presenting nurse awards pins for going above and beyond the call of duty, for consistent quality care, for length of service, or for unique categories you create. Your nurses will wear their received pins with pride.

And don’t forget to encourage your physicians and administrators to take a moment to handwrite a note to a nurse or two on their team. Recognition, encouragement, and support during nursing week will help your nurses continue to provide their best care all year long.

Looking for more ways to celebrate your nursing staff? Check out our 50 Ways to Celebrate Nurses Week article for terrific nurses appreciation gifts and unique gift ideas! 

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