History of Nurses Week

In 1974, President Gerald Ford declared EMS Week to celebrate the relatively new EMS profession and the health and safety contributions to the American people. This year the 46th annual EMS Week is May 21-27, 2017. Prior to that, in 1974 before Richard Nixon resigned his presidency, National Nurses Day and Week were established in the U.S.

Although there is always some controversy and grumbling about such a contrite event, it is important to honor those who do for us what so many cannot. The healthcare profession as a whole is something that is NOT for everyone. Dealing with matters that can lead to life and death situations means the professional must be serious about their education, their conduct “on and off the field” so to speak, and have a compassion and empathy for human beings. They also must be able to handle constantly challenging and changing situations that often involve blood, sputum, emesis, feces and urine and a whole host of other not so attractive matters.

So these special designated weeks offer the layperson an opportunity to take a moment to say Thank You and to give respect. They also bring a heightened awareness to the professions so that we may continue to recruit ideal candidates. Take pride and honor your colleagues. Learn more about Nurses Week May 6-12.

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