Nurse Appreciation Week [The Lowdown]

April 2, 2019 Julia Daihl

Everything You Need To Know About Nurse Appreciation Week


What is Nurses Week?

Nurses Week is a chance for you to show your appreciation to those that fight to keep us healthy and put their need for sleep aside to save our lives. It’s essentially what it sounds like it is, a week dedicated to recognizing nurses.


When is Nurses Week

Nurse Appreciation Week is always May 6-12.


Nurses Week History

Through many years of effort (starting back in 1953), proclamations, and resolutions within Congress – the American Nurse Association (ANA) was able to solidify May 6-12 as the official, permanent dates to observe National Nurses Week.

Fun Fact: May 12th is the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the “pioneer of modern nursing.” Learn more about her accomplishments and life on her page. It’s only fitting to end a celebration of nurse appreciation on the birthday of someone who made a huge impact in the field.



Nurses Week Theme Ideas

This year, the official theme is 4 Million Reasons to Celebrate. It is intended to bring recognition to the number of registered nurses in the U.S. and the individual, positive impact they make in our lives. Let’s celebrate every single one of them – all four million!


To help kick off this theme and promote the 4 Million Reasons to Celebrate, the ANA has provided free materials and resources. You can learn more about their toolkit and download it here.

You can also add a fun spin on Nurses Week and celebrate with your own theme within your hospital or healthcare office. Here are a couple of theme ideas you can plan:

Nurses are Better Than a Day at the Beach – decorate the hospital with beach-themed décor, play The Beach Boys on the PA system, and hand out fun pins or totes (that they can take to the beach!).



Everyday Superheroes – provide superhero attire for the nursing staff to dress up in and decorate the hospital like a cityscape. You can even create a photo wall that nurses can take pictures at and post on their personal social media accounts (be sure to encourage use of a branded hashtag like #YourHospitalNurseWeek19). You can even get them themed gifts like a water bottle or tote set (we love our totes).



Nurses Week Hashtags

Spread the word and share our Nurses Week happenings with these hashtags:

  • #NursesWeek
  • #ThankaNurse
  • #HappyNursesWeek


Nurses Week Decorations

As long as your decorations are safe for your patients and comply with health codes and your Network’s regulations – any decoration is a good idea!

Have them themed, like the suggested themes above or create your own theme!

Decorating lockers or break spaces is a great way to celebrate Nurses Week!


Nurses Week Activity Ideas

Make Nurses Week extra fun with a planned activity or two for the nurses! Provide lunch one day so it’s one less thing for them to think about or hire a masseuse for the day to give quick massages during down time (if there ever is any!) – what a great way to look out for their own health and give them a stress-free moment!

Create a DIY spa-kit station where they build their own self-care basket that they can enjoy at home!

NOTE: When planning a Nurses Week activity, it’s important to make it flexible so that everyone can participate.


Nurses Week Bulletin Board Ideas

Give a special (and public) shout-out to your nursing staff with one of these bulletin board ideas.

Take a picture of each RN and post it on the bulletin board with who they are and one fun fact about them and one word that describes them (i.e. dedicated, responsive, etc.).

Turn the bulletin board into a compliment board where other nurses and staff can write nice things about the RN staff. Our Shout Outs are great for this!



Nurses Week Gift Ideas

A gift of appreciation goes a long way! Help boost your staff’s morale with one of these top gift ideas.

Water Bottles:



Gifts with treats:



Fun gifts to give:



Nurses Week DIY Gift Ideas

Creating a gift yourself can be fun and adds a special, personal touch! We love any moment that allows you to personalize, which is why we created this free and fun DIY Lip Balm Cards download.

Glue a Cheerful Lip Balm to the card and watch morale soar!


Cheerful Lip Balm – Making a Difference





DIY Lip Balm Cards: Healthcare Appreciation


Nurses Week Thank You Message

Words of thanks are often one of the greatest gifts you can give. It’s important to let your nurses know how appreciated they are this National Nurses Week. Write them a sweet note or send your message in an email. Here’s an example of a Nurses Week thank you message:

[Name of Nurse],

Thanks for all you do! Your kind heart, patient soul, and selflessness are so appreciated! The work you do at [Name of Your Hospital or Medical Center] is substantial and literally life changing! We couldn’t be where we are today, without you. Thank you!

Happy Nurses Week!

[Your Name]


Nurses Week eCards

ePraise is a great and FREE way to personally recognize your staff and other team members. Deliver appreciation and happiness right to their inbox!




Helpful Links and Resources for Nurses Week

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Thanking Your Nurses

26 Tweets about Nursing that Are So Relatable

3 Ways to Care for Your Healthcare Staff

Say It With Care: 8 Ways to Say ‘Thank You’ to Your Nurses

10 Ideas for National Nurses Week Gifts

Nurse Appreciation Print-n-Post





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