National Nurses Week: May 6 – 12, 2021

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

May 6th is National Nurses Day.  National Nurses Day is celebrated to raise awareness of the important role nurses play in society.  It kicks off the annual observation of National Nurses Week, which ends on May 12th – the birthday of Florence Nightingale (200th birthday in 2020).  This year’s theme is Celebrating Our Frontline Warriors.  This is so fitting as Florence Nightingale nursed on the front lines of the Crimean War and promoted hand hygiene as well as overall sanitation principles that we practice today.  Learn more about her life and life’s work here.

Recognition of the value of nurses continues with the extension of Year of the Nurse from 2020 through 2021 (WHO, American Nurses Association and other organizations globally).

Like so many other nursing students, I took the Florence Nightingale pledge when I graduated from nurses training.  Here is the traditional version of that pledge:

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.

Nurses in all settings continue to be challenged during the public health emergency which began nearly 15 months ago – we’re in the 2nd year of this pandemic.  We owe a huge debt of gratitude, admiration and pride for all the nurses that work so hard and tirelessly.  The job’s not done yet and nursing perseveres.  Whatever the setting, you can count on a nurse for support, guidance and caring.

Wishing all nurses a happy, healthy and safe Nurses Day, Nurses Week and Nurses Years!  We salute and celebrate you!!  Thank you so much for being there for us each and every day!