National Nurses Day, created to highlight the important role nurses play in our communities, is even more important this year. As frontline workers during this global pandemic, nurses have become true superheroes. One day hardly seems like enough to show our appreciation, but we want to let these amazing men and women know how grateful we are for their skills, their talent and their dedication.
This annual celebration which is on May 6th, is actually only the beginning of what is called National Nurses Week. The week ends on May 12th, which is also the birthday of Florence Nightingale. Nightingale was an English nurse. Thanks to her habit of making her patient rounds in the evening, she is known as “The Lady with the Lamp”. Her work during the Crimean War is considered the founding of professional nursing.
The date for this special week was originally in October, starting in 1954. This was the 100th anniversary of Nightingale’s work in Crimea. The year before, a woman named Dorothy Sutherland, who worked for the US Department of Health, sent a letter to President Eisenhower suggesting such a day to honor nurses. Sadly, Eisenhower did not proclaim an official holiday. So in 1955, people began celebrating National Nurses Week on their own.
The week of appreciation became official in 1974 when President Nixon made a proclamation calling for it. A few years later, a group of nurses from New Mexico suggested the date of May 6th for the national day of recognition of these important healthcare workers. Their proposal was accepted by Congress in 1982 and May 6th became the official date for National Nurses Day.
Our recognition of the hard work and sacrifice made by nurses is an important one. They exemplify the courage and bravery that Tskies’ Brave Collection was created to honor. Nurses have put their own lives on the line during this pandemic, making them a living expression of what it means to be Brave.