If It’s May, It Must Be National Nurses Month, Week and Day!!

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

May is always a great month, especially after a long winter.  Signs of spring are everywhere – at least north of the equator.  The last 3 years have been a long winter for all of us but especially those in the healthcare field.  Today, I write in honor of nurses everywhere.

As is my annual tradition, I’m a bit nostalgic in remembering why we have a day, a week and a month to honor nurses. May is National Nurses Month. May 6th is National Nurses Day. National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6th and ends on May 12th with the 12th being Florence Nightingale’s birthday. It was first observed in 1954, marking the 100th anniversary of Nightingale’s notable nursing service during the Crimean War.  She was born on May 12, 1820 in Florence, Italy. (This year marks her 203rd birthday.)  She is known as the “Lady with the Lamp” as she walked the hospital wards at night with a lantern to check on her patients.  Florence Nightingale not only provided care and comfort for British soldiers during the Crimean War – she helped revolutionize medicine with her no-nonsense approach to hygiene, sanitation and patient care.  She pioneered public health as well as formal nurse training programs.  She was also a statistician, providing data that showed 10 times as many soldiers died from disease as did wounds suffered in combat.  She was a staunch advocate of what we know of now as hand hygiene and its effectiveness in controlling infection.  Florence died in 1910 at the age of 90.  She made the world a better place to live.

This year’s theme for Nurses Week is Nurses Make a Difference: Anytime, Anywhere – Always.

There are also these additional AAPACN(I’ve been a proud member since 1999) recognizes:

  • May 8 – National Student Nurses Day
  • May 9 – Nurse Assessment Coordinator (NAC) Day
  • May 10 – Nurse Leader Day

The following comes from the United States Census Bureau Press Release … May 6, 2023:

“Scientific advancements in recent years have dramatically expanded the role of nurses in our health care system, and their knowledge and skills have increased to keep pace with new technologies and methods of treatments. Yet, the very core of nursing—caring for patients at the bedside—remains unchanged. Nurses bring a special compassion and concern for the patient and for the patient’s family.

Nurses play a vital role in educating people in how to avoid illness and promote good health.

Nurses are essential to every health care setting—in hospitals, nursing homes, ambulatory care centers, and patients’ homes.”

I have always been proud of being a nurse. I celebrate my 50th year in nursing this month. My Aunt Marie was a nurse as well. If you know someone who’s thinking of entering the nursing field, please offer them your full support and encouragement. It’s an extremely rewarding field for anyone who wishes to be part of a great group of people taking care of people. The nursing field provides many varied positions – there’s something for everyone. Nurses do indeed make the difference – always.

Briggs Healthcare and I wish all of you in the nursing field a very proud and happy Nurses Day, Week and Month!!  We are grateful for everything you do to make this world a better and healthier place to live.