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April 20, 2017
National Nurses Day is celebrated every May 6th in the United States. The goal is to raise awareness on the role nurses play in our society. May 6th marks the beginning of National Nurses Week, which ends on May 12, a date that coincides with the birthday of Florence Nightingale.
Every year on Nurses week celebrations and receptions are held across the United States. Each celebration is designed to honor the work of nurses in our communities. 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.
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. It was not a coincidence that this day was chosen. 1954 marked the 100th anniversary of Nightingale's mission to Crimea. May 6 was introduced as the date for the observance in 1982.
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