National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6 and ends on May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. The nursing profession has been supported and promoted by the American Nurses Association (ANA) since 1896.

In 1994, the ANA board of directors designated May 6–12 as permanent dates to observe “National Nurses Week.” National Nurses Week marks the invaluable contribution nurses make to society, from the physical care provided to patients, to emotional sensitivity shown toward patients’ friends and family. This year’s theme is “Year of the Healthy Nurse,” which is designated by the American Nurses Association (ANA).

“Our focus on improving the health of America’s nurses goes beyond self-care,” said ANA President Pamela Cipriano. “Every time a nurse interacts with a patient, he or she has an opportunity to be a role model for good health. And a healthy nurse is more likely to talk to a patient about how to get healthy, and is more credible when promoting those behaviors. That’s how nurses can help change the health of America.”

Another effort to help nurses become and stay healthy is the ANA Enterprise launch of the “Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation Grand Challenge” on May 1. The national initiative connects and engages individual nurses, employers of nurses, state nurse associations and specialty nurse associations to take action to improve their health in five key areas: physical activity, rest, nutrition, quality of life and safety.

SDAHO recognizes and honors the valuable work of nurses in their various roles across the state.

Resources to celebrate National Nurses Day and Week can be found here.