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"Advocating, leading, caring" - the slogan of the American Nursing Association (ANA).

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National Nurses Day

National Nurses Day is celebrated annually on May 6 to raise awareness of the important role nurses play in society. It marks the beginning of National Nurses Week, which ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale.

 

 

What do people do?

On National Nurses Day celebrations and receptions are held across the United States to honor the work of nurses. Among the most popular activities are banquets, state and city proclamations, and seminars. Many nurses receive gifts or flowers from friends, family members, or patients.

Public life

National Nurses Day and National Nurses Week are observances but they not a public holidays in the United States.

Background

May 12, the final day of National Nurses Week, is the birthday of Florence Nightingale (1820-1910). The English nurse became known as the founder of professional nursing, especially due to her pioneering work during the Crimean War (1853-1856). Due to her habit of making rounds at night, Nightingale became known as "The Lady with the Lamp".

National Nurses Week was first observed in October 1954, the 100th anniversary of Nightingale's mission to Crimea. May 6 was introduced as the date for the observance in 1982.

 

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