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National Nurses Day in the United States

National Nurses Day is celebrated annually on May 6 to raise awareness of the important role nurses play in society. It marks the beginning of National Nurses Week, which ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale.

"Advocating, leading, caring" - the slogan of the American Nursing Association (ANA).
"Advocating, leading, caring" - the slogan of the American Nursing Association (ANA).
©iStockphoto.com/AlexRaths

What Do People Do?

On National Nurses Day celebrations and receptions are held across the United States to honor the work of nurses. Among the most popular activities are banquets, state and city proclamations, and seminars. Many nurses receive gifts or flowers from friends, family members, or patients.

Public Life

National Nurses Day and National Nurses Week are observances but they not a public holidays in the United States.

Background

May 12, the final day of National Nurses Week, is the birthday of Florence Nightingale (1820-1910). The English nurse became known as the founder of professional nursing, especially due to her pioneering work during the Crimean War (1853-1856). Due to her habit of making rounds at night, Nightingale became known as "The Lady with the Lamp".

National Nurses Week was first observed in October 1954, the 100th anniversary of Nightingale's mission to Crimea. May 6 was introduced as the date for the observance in 1982.

National Nurses Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday TypeWhere It is Observed
ThuMay 62010National Nurses DayObservance 
FriMay 62011National Nurses DayObservance 
SunMay 62012National Nurses DayObservance 
MonMay 62013National Nurses DayObservance 
TueMay 62014National Nurses DayObservance 
WedMay 62015National Nurses DayObservance 
FriMay 62016National Nurses DayObservance 
SatMay 62017National Nurses DayObservance 
SunMay 62018National Nurses DayObservance 
MonMay 62019National Nurses DayObservance 
WedMay 62020National Nurses DayObservance 

Quick Facts

National Nurses Day is an occasion to honor the work of nurses.

National Nurses Day 2016

Friday, May 6, 2016

National Nurses Day 2017

Saturday, May 6, 2017

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Name in other languages

NameLanguage
National Nurses DayEnglish
Día Nacional de la EnfermeríaSpanish
יום לסיעודHebrew
يوم التمريضArabic
간호사의 날Korean
Nasjonal sykepleierdagNorwegian
Nationaler Tag der KrankenschwesternGerman

List of dates for other years

Other holidays in May 2016 in the United States

Fun Holidays on May 6, 2016

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