Nurses Day a week away as Nurses Week 2010 begins

Florence Nightingale

Nurses Week 2010 ends with Nurses Day, birthday of Florence Nightingale. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

May 6 kicks off Nurses Week 2010.  Nurses Week 2010 will run from May 6 to Nurses Day on May 12, a special day for the nursing profession.  These people work hard, and the members of this noble profession are deserving of some recognition.  They toil day and night at hospitals, emergency rooms, and clinics at all hours of the day, all over the world.  A little recognition is the least we could do for them, though we imagine many would trade a calendar label for some extra payday cash.

May 6 starts Nurses Week 2010, ends with Nurses Day

Nurses Week always starts May 6, and Nurses Week 2010 is no exception. Nurses Week 2010 will wrap up, as all Nurses Weeks do, on May 12.  May 12 is actually the historically significant date, as May 12 is the birthday of Florence Nightingale.  As many of us recall, she was a pioneer in the field and had an enormous hand in giving birth to the nursing profession.

So when did this all get started?

According to the American Nurses Association website, an attempt was made in 1953 to get President Eisenhower to declare an observance of a Nurses Day.  Ike wasn’t having it, but a Nurses Week was observed by many people informally the next year in October to commemorate Florence Nightingale’s service during the Crimean War. The first official proclamation of a Nurses Week was in 1974, by Richard Nixon. That said, the International Council of Nurses first started observing the day in 1965, and in January of 1974 proclaimed International Nurses Day on May 12, in honor of Florence Nightingale.

May 12 has been Nurses Day ever since

Since then, May 12 has been observed as Nurses Day by those in the profession, and various state governments started observing a Nurses Day, though typically on May 6.  In 1990, the holiday was expanded to an entire Nurses Week, running from May 6 to May 12.  It is, after all, a profession that deserves recognition. Like Teacher Appreciation Week, a day or two out of the year to acknowledge their contributions is definitely warranted.

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