National Nurses Week is May 6-12 — here’s how you can celebrate nurses

A nurse Cindy Mendez wearing a protective mask holds a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Feb. 25, 2021. (REUTERS/Jeenah Moon)

National Nurses Week takes place from Thursday, May 6 to Wednesday, May 12. It’s a week each year to honor the commitment, dedication, and hard work of those in the nursing profession. 

This year, honoring our nurses is more important than ever. They are risking their lives on the front line every day, helping fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The first National Nurses Week occurred in October 1954 and commemorated the hundredth anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s work during the Crimean War, where she selflessly tended to wounded soldiers. Nightingale was a famous British nurse who fought to improve conditions for the sick and whose advocacy set the standard for modern nursing today. In 1982, President Reagan declared May 6 National Recognition Day for Nurses. Then, in 1990, the American Nurses Association extended that day into a week of celebrations, culminating on Nightingale’s birthday on May 12. 

Here’s how to celebrate:


Take a moment to write about a nurse that inspires you or why you are celebrating Nurses Week in general. You can share the post on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and tag nurses so they see it! These words of encouragement can go a long way for a nurse working long hours to know that they are appreciated. #NursesWeek2021


There are several places throughout New York City where you can donate to help support your local nurses. In addition to donating to your local hospital, donations can be made to organizations such as NYC Healthcare Heroes Initiative by Robin Hood Foundation and Visiting Nurse Service of New York.


Hand-written cards, food donations, or other gifts are all nice ways to show nurses your appreciation! If you know a nurse personally, buy them their favorite snack or offer to grab them coffee before their shift. If not, several hospitals have staff members that handle donations. To arrange one at NewYork-Presbyterian, you can email them at healthcareheroes@nyp.org.

This story first appeared on our sister publication longislandpress.com.