7 Ideas for Celebrating Nurses Week
By Erin Wallace, Contributor
National Nurses Week kicks off on Monday, May 6, which is National Nurses Day, and ends on May 12, Florence Nightingale's birthday. Hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities around the country are planning celebrations to honor and recognize the hard work that nurses do each day.
Why celebrate nurse’s week?
National Nurses Day and the subsequent National Nurses Week serve as a way to educate the public about the important role nurses play in meeting the healthcare needs of patients and raise public awareness about the value of nursing. Here are some ideas and suggestions for celebrating Nurses Week across the country.
1. Create a nursing honor roll
Within your unit, floor or hospital, create a nursing honor roll of board-certified nurses to recognize them for their accomplishments and dedication to the field. Post the list in your facility and other public areas so it can be viewed by patient families, visitors and other employees.
2. Sponsor a banquet, tea or luncheon
Many hospitals, doctor's offices and clinics host celebrations that include plenty of food to celebrate Nurses Week. Some floors may have a potluck during different shifts, or there may be a facility-wide event to celebrate nurses.
3. Gift certificates to spas or restaurants
Rewarding nurses for their hard work with gift certificates to local spas or restaurants for a night out is a great way to celebrate Nurses Week. The Cleveland Clinic has done this in the past by partnering with local businesses for sponsorship.
4. Announce the beginning of a mentor program
One of the most valuable resources for new nurses is a mentor program, and what better time to announce its creation than during Nurses Week? The ANA recommends that nurse mentoring programs provide opportunities for nurses to “share the value of certification, education opportunities, career planning, maintaining morale and motivation, and dealing with challenges.”
This one requires a bit of advance planning with nurse leadership members, but it can be a great resource to support existing and new members of your nursing team.
5. Attend the ANA National Nurses Week webinar
The American Nurses Association (ANA) is hosting a free webinar to celebrate National Nurses Week. This year's online event takes place on May 8, 2019. It's a free opportunity to learn about what you can do to keep nursing's professional presence in the public sphere while earning a contact hour.
6. Spread the word about National Nurses Week
Employers can submit press releases about the valuable work nurses do for the community and the events they are planning to celebrate National Nurses Week.
Social media is another great avenue to use to raise public awareness. Use Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #NationalNursesWeek and share a personal anecdote or your support for nurses in general, such as a time a nurse went above and beyond for you or a family member, or if you are a nurse yourself, you can express your pride being a part of the profession and generate some buzz.
7. Educate yourself about Florence Nightingale's role in being a nursing pioneer
May 12, Nightingale's birthday, marks the last day of National Nurses Week and International Nurses Day. Florence Nightingale had a significant role in laying the foundation for professional nursing. Many of her actions, practices and writings are still relevant today.
Nightingale was a manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War. During this time, she organized care for wounded soldiers and spearheaded some important advancements that have become a critical part of nursing basics, such as an emphasis on sanitation and hand washing.
Learning about nurses who paved the way for nurses today is a great way to celebrate the profession.
Ask your employer about the ways they plan to celebrate Nurses Week, and if they're looking for ideas, you may want to offer some of these suggestions for making Nurses Week 2019 a memorable one.