May 1–31, 2023
Each year, National Nurses Week is celebrated from May 6–12. In 2023, we celebrate National Nurses Month from May 1–31. This is a week and month for hospitals, employers, many other workplaces, and individuals to celebrate their nurses! It’s also a time when the American Nurses Association (ANA) especially promotes the profession.
The impact nurses make on healthcare is unparalleled. For 2023, the ANA has selected the theme “You Make a Difference” to honor the varying roles of nurses and their positive impacts on our lives. Nurses make a difference as trusted advocates who ensure individuals, families, and populations receive quality patient care and services. And nurses make a difference by influencing and shaping health policy decisions that ensure all Americans have access to high-quality, affordable healthcare coverage.
Extending the celebration throughout the entire month of May allows for even greater opportunities to promote understanding and appreciation of the invaluable contributions of nurses. The month will be divided into four weekly focus areas: Self-Care, Recognition, Professional Development, and Community Engagement.
The National Nurses Week 2023 logo was developed by ANA to celebrate the week and month of the nurse and to recognize nurses’ many diverse contributions in the healthcare field.
Nurses Week Special Discount and Giveaway
To express its gratitude and appreciation to all the hardworking nurses who have been giving their all during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, online CE provider Wild Iris Medical Education continues to offer two free nursing CEUs throughout 2023. Earn 1 free ANCC contact hour with the Sexual Harassment Training continuing education course. Get another free nursing CEU for 1 contact hour on COVID-19: The Impact of a Pandemic on Mental Health course.
To celebrate nurses during May’s Nurses Month, Wild Iris Medical Education is also offering a special month-long 20% discount on all continuing nursing education (CNE) courses. When nurses take any online course during the month of May and enter the code THANKYOU, this discount will automatically be applied. And the code can be used an unlimited number of times! Why not take advantage of this great savings opportunity to catch up on needed contact hours, get a head start on your coming nursing license renewal, or simply update your knowledge base.
On top of offering these free courses and 20% discount, Wild Iris Medical Education will conduct a drawing for a free 30-hour nursing CE course bundle (valued at $119), a Littman stethoscope, and more nurses swag. This giveaway is open to all nurses who take any course from Wild Iris Medical Education during May 2023.
Nurses Week History
National Nurses Week traces its history back to 1953, when Dorothy Sutherland of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare sent a proposal to President Eisenhower to proclaim a “Nurse Day” in October of the following year. The first National Nurse Week was observed October 11–16, 1954.
Although Congress took no action on a proposed 1955 bill to establish an ongoing National Nurse Week, in January 1974, the International Council of Nurses declared May 12 (Florence Nightingale’s birthday) as International Nurse Day. In 1990, the ANA expanded this daylong recognition of nurses to a weeklong celebration, declaring May 6–12 as “National Nurses Week,” which has been observed annually since then.
Florence Nightingale, born May 12, 1820, was an English social reformer, statistician, and the founder of modern nursing. She gave nursing a highly favorable reputation and became an icon of Victorian culture, especially in the persona of “The Lady with the Lamp,” making nighttime rounds among wounded soldiers.
In 1860, Nightingale laid the foundation for professional nursing with the establishment of the first secular nursing school in the world at St. Thomas Hospital in London. Her social reforms included improving healthcare for all sections of British society, advocating for better hunger relief in India, helping to abolish prostitution laws that were overly harsh to women, and expanding the acceptable forms of female participation in the workforce.
Nightingale’s lasting contribution has been her role in founding the modern nursing profession. She set an example of compassion, commitment to patient care, and diligent and thoughtful hospital administration. The first official nurses training program, her Nightingale School for Nurses, opened in 1860 and is now called the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery at King’s College London.
Florence Nightingale Medal
In 1912, the International Committee of the Red Cross instituted the Florence Nightingale Medal. Awarded every two years to nurses or nursing aides for outstanding service, it is the highest international distinction a nurse can achieve, given for “exceptional courage and devotion to the wounded, sick or disabled, or to civilian victims of a conflict or disaster” or “exemplary services or a creative and pioneering spirit in the areas of public health or nursing education.”
The Nightingale Pledge
The Nightingale Pledge is a modified version of the Hippocratic Oath, which nurses recite at their pinning ceremony at the end of training. Created in 1893 and named after Nightingale as the founder of modern nursing, the pledge is a statement of the ethics and principles of the nursing profession: “I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.”
Happy Nurses Week!
We truly appreciate each and every one of you and all of your dedication, hard work, and caring. As Florence Nightingale said, “For the sick it is important to have the best.” Be the best you can be in your profession and in your daily life as you continue to make a difference in the world.
ANA. (2023). https://www.nursingworld.org/ana-enterprise/nurses-month/
American Nurses Association. (2021). 2021: Honoring Nurses. https://anayearofthenurse.org
Wikipedia. (2021). Florence Nightingale. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Nightingale
About Wild Iris Medical Education:
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