Nurses Week is the time from May 6th to May 12th when we step back and appreciate all the nurses around the world and the work they do, providing life-saving, compassionate care. It’s a week that we have to thank and celebrate the nursing assistants, practical nurses, and registered nurses that take care of us.
What are the origins of Nurses Week?
National Nurses Week can be traced back to 1953 when it was proposed as a single day by Dorothy Sutherland of the US Department of Health. Nurse Day was later celebrated once in May of 1954 to honor Florence Nightingale’s work in the Crimean War.
But it wasn’t until May 6th of 1982 that a National Recognition Day for Nurses was finally declared, thanks to an effort led by the American Nurses Association. And by 1993, the ANA Board of Directors agreed on May 6-12th as the annual dates of Nurses Week.
Flash forward to 2020 – proclaimed to be the Year of the Nurse and Midwife by the World Health Organization. But only a few short months into 2020, and it became apparent that the Year of the Nurse would take on a more immense significance.
Nurses Week in the pandemic
Amid the pandemic, it was more important than ever to appreciate the nurses on the frontlines at hospitals and nursing homes, often risking their lives to take care of multiple patients sick with the deadly virus. “Nursing homes are on the frontlines of taking on the COVID-19 Pandemic”, says Chris Caufield, RN, NP-C, and Chief Nursing Officer of IntelyCare, in this video.
We also saw that healthcare heroes working in nursing homes were overlooked. So we started the Healthcare Heroes initiative to provide a platform for nursing professionals to share their stories and invest in our nurses by awarding prizes to their facility or their healthcare career.
The Future of Nurses Week
Now, we see the tremendous toll the pandemic has taken on our nurses’ mental and physical health. Because of chronic staffing shortages and increased demand for care due to COVID-19, nurses have been emotionally exhausted and overworked, leading to record burnout rates.
Nurses week in 2021 will be a time to take our appreciation a step further by taking action to invest in our nurses and nursing communities, providing them with the support that an essential worker deserves.
Nurses Week and our Healthcare Heroes
Many nurses sacrifice a lot to care for their patients. To give an example, Yolanda Lee, CNA, shares the time when she decided to go to work on Easter Sunday, saying, “I was amazed at how the patients were appreciative, thankful, and couldn’t believe I would choose such a day to come in.” You can read Yolanda’s full story here.
Our Healthcare Heroes initiative aims to capture the stories of our healthcare heroes and exceptional nursing facilities, provide them a platform to share their stories with each other and the world, and give them the recognition and support they deserve by offering awards and scholarships. See more on our Healthcare Heroes Initiative here.
Caring For Our Nurses
At IntelyCare, we know that all nursing professionals, whether they’re a CNA on their first shift, or an RN with decades of experience, deserve to be heard and recognized. Our IntelyPro Spotlight Series aims to tell the stories of our hard-working and compassionate IntelyPro’s whether it’s Blailin Baker‘s story about competing as a high-level track and field athlete in college, studying sports medicine before transitioning to long-term care, or Shakira Hodge‘s story about the hardest day of her nursing career.
In addition to telling their stories, we’re always looking to support our nursing professionals and answer questions they may have. Whether it’s providing tips for new IntelyPros, or strategies to reduce nurse burnout, we’re always here for our IntelyPros.
At IntelyCare, we believe that nurses deserve more than a week to be celebrated – which is why our mission is to empower healthcare heroes like you to transform the way you work. Join the IntelyCare team today, and get an opportunity to give care where and when you want!