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Recognizing nurses who enrich our lives and the world


National Nurses Week, celebrated annually from May 6-12 and ending on the birthday of Florence Nightingale, is a time for everyone— nurses, employers, other healthcare professionals, community leaders, and the public—to recognize the vast contributions and positive impact of America’s 4 million registered nurses. This year we celebrate the inspiring stories of nurses across the nation who have dedicated their lives to serving our communities.

The American Nurses Association’s (ANA) theme for National Nurses Week 2019, “4 Million Reasons to Celebrate,” highlights the sheer number of RNs and is an open invitation to #ThankaNurse for enriching our lives and the world we live in.

Access everything you need to celebrate National Nurses Week, including the resource toolkit, links to the e-store and webinar registration, and a full library of logos at And share your National Nurses Week celebrations on social media using the hashtag #NursesWeek.

National Nurses Week Resource Toolkit

Nurses, hospitals, and other healthcare stakeholders are encouraged to make use of the National Nurses Week Resource Toolkit to help promote this annual observance in local communities and in the media. This year’s toolkit contains useful information and resources, including a thank-you card, the official logo library, a large banner, a certificate of appreciation, pertinent articles, and tips for working with the media.

Celebrate with special National Nurses Week items and gifts

The resource page includes links to the ANA National Nurses Week official store, featuring ways to recognize RNs with practical and personal gifts—lunch bags, tote bags, mugs, tumblers, premium apparel, journals, pens, lapel pins, and more. As a special thank you, ANA will donate a portion of the proceeds from every product purchased on the Honor a Nurse section of the e-store catalog to support the American Nurses Foundation’s Honor a Nurse program. With each purchase, you’ll receive a complimentary keepsake that features a nurse’s powerful story.

Attend ANA’s National Nurses Week webinar

Mark your calendar for ANA’s National Nurses Week webinar, “Nurses4Us: Elevating the profession,” scheduled for May 8 at 1 pm ET. ANA President Ernest Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Faith Roberts, MSN, RN, director of Magnet®, professional practice and parish nursing for the Carle Foundation Hospital and Carle Physician Group, will discuss ways you can contribute to advancing nursing, what you can do to keep nursing’s professional presence in the public arena, and how nurses can improve healthcare.

You’ll also hear about Nursing Now, a global campaign to improve health by raising the profile
and status of nursing worldwide, which celebrated its first anniversary in March. Nursing Now USA is scheduled to launch this month.

Advance registration for the webinar is required. Take part in the webinar discussion on May 8 with #NursesWeekLive.

Every nurse has a reason to celebrate

National Nurses Week is an opportunity to celebrate the myriad ways nurses make a difference, from addressing public health challenges to delivering culturally competent care and increasing diversity and inclusion in nursing. It’s a time to take note of nurses’ groundbreaking work as researchers, executives, educators, and innovators, and nurses’ influence in shaping health policy decisions that ensure all Americans have access to high-quality, affordable healthcare coverage.

We applaud nurses, who have been named the most trusted professionals for 17 years straight, and their advocacy to ensure that individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations receive quality patient care and services. We celebrate nurses’ leadership in their organizations, on boards of directors, and as elected officials. We also honor nurses’ stories of strength, resilience, and determination while navigating an ever-changing and complex healthcare landscape.

For National Nurses Week, ANA asked nurses why they celebrate being a nurse. Read their comments below, which include Pathway to Excellence® nurses at Mariners Hospital & Fishermen’s Community Hospital, part of Baptist Health South Florida, among nurses in other roles and settings. Look for more of these stories and share yours during National Nurses Week via ANA’s social media feeds on: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Use hashtag #NursesWeek.

Access to care

“I work in a small, critical access hospital in the outpatient oncology infusion center. Our patients are our friends, family, and neighbors. We love our patients and provide a much-needed service in the community. If we did not have this department, patients would have to travel 50 to 100 miles for treatment.” —Jean Santaguida, APRN, oncology


“I kept following up with a patient’s cardiologist regarding his heart rhythm changes. The cardiologist disregarded several RN notifications until I finally contacted the patient’s primary physician to intervene. The patient’s PCP spoke with the cardiologist and the patient ended up having to have stents placed.” —Lauren Price, BSN, RN, cardiac rehabilitation


“Being certified allows me to care for members of our community, the same people we see in the grocery store and out on the street, with confidence and expertise knowing they are receiving the best possible care.” —Debbie O’Cathey, RN-BC, multi-specialty acute care center

Giving and receiving

“Helping people when they are at their worst, most vulnerable, and facing difficult health issues is the most rewarding and grueling work. But it allows us to share a part of others’ lives that is emotional, spiritual, and physical. We can influence, comfort, and care for those in need. It’s the most special profession in that we can give so much and receive so much.” —Nicole Rowney, BSN, BS, RN, CMSRN, multi-specialty acute care center, palliative care nurse


“I am celebrating nurses because of the vital role that we play across the healthcare continuum as patient advocates influencing health policy, leadership, and practice initiatives. I am also celebrating the more than 17,000 ANA Up and Comers Online Community members who are navigating the path of career transitions into education, advanced practice, and management positions, as well as pursuing (or planning to pursue) an advanced degree in nursing.” —Aaron Sebach, DNP, MBA, AGACNP-BC, FNP-BC, CEN, CPEN, FHM, chair and associate professor, doctor of nursing practice program, Wilmington University, New Castle, Delaware


“Following a regular exercise program gives me strength and flexibility to perform my job better and reduces risk for injury.” —Jay Stayouhar, BSN, RN, CPAN, operating room

Patient care

“I’m celebrating nurses because they have a positive impact on patients and families. From patients in the hospital or in their home, to schools or workplaces, nurses are there with the dedication to make a difference in the lives of those in need.” —Amy Witkoski Stimpfel, PhD, RN, assistant professor, Rory Meyers College of Nursing, New York University


“In the OR we get to work as a team, closely working with the surgeon and anesthesiologist. Everyone is a trusted, important part of that team.” —Sue Austin, RN, operating room


“Nurses are the most trusted profession because we give selfessly, no matter who the person is or where they come from.” —Bonnie Talsma, BSN, RN, cardiac rehabilitation


“I celebrate nursing’s rich history of devotion, wisdom, and commitment to society. Nursing accomplishments of generating new knowledge, policy, and leadership development over the decades have given us a proud heritage. The future of nursing leadership is full of anticipation and optimism. Nursing is illuminating the path for health and wellness for our communities.” —Marian Shaughnessy, DNP, MSN, RN, board member of the American Nurses Foundation

April 2019 Frontline
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