National Nurses Week is celebrated each year in the United States. The American Nurses Association notes that the week begins each year on May 6 and ends on May 12, which coincides with International Nurses Day, a global celebration designed to highlight and celebrate the contributions nurses make to society. May 12 also marks the birthday of Florence Nightingale, an influential 19th century British nurse who many consider the founder of modern nursing. The Canadian Nurses Association celebrates its own National Nursing Week, which begins on May 10 and continues through May 16.
Student nurses and school nurses are honored during National Nurses Week celebrations in the United States. Celebrations honoring nurses across the globe figure to take on greater meaning in 2021 as the world continues to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, during which hundreds of nurses have died from the virus while countless others have contracted it before eventually returning to work to continue helping those in need. This year, individuals, community leaders and privately held businesses can come together during National Nurses Week to celebrate the important work nurses do and the bravery they’ve shown while confronting one of the most devastating pandemics in history.