By Scrubadoo’s Jen Hankin
Florence Nightingale defined nursing over 100 years ago as, “the act of utilizing the environment of the patient to assist him in his recovery.”
Nurses were no longer untrained housekeepers but people educated in the care of the sick due to Nightingale’s efforts. And thus the birth, although we didn’t know it then, of National Nurses Week began.
National Nurses Week is celebrated annually from May 6, also known as National Nurses Day, through May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday.
Nightingale is the considered the “mother” of professional modern nursing, after establishing the first secular nursing school in the world, St. Thomas’ Hospital in London. The school is now part of King’s College London. New nurses today still take the Nightingale Pledge in Florences’ honor.
With such a powerful and memorable mentor for the nursing industry, it’s no wonder, National Nurses Week concludes on Florence Nightingale’s birthday. A nice sentiment back to the original roots of nursing. Each year, National Nurses Week embodies a theme chosen by the American Nurses Association. The 2012 theme is Nurses: Advocating, Leading, Caring to help celebrate nurses and all that they do!
May 6 through May 12 are fixed dates, always marking National Nurses Week. In 1998, May 8 was designated as National Student Nurses Day. And as of 2003, National School Nurse Day is celebrated on the Wednesday within the week.
With over 3.1 million licensed registered nurses in the United States, how will you be celebrating? How about holding a special celebration or reception to recognize nurses in your community? Who would you honor?