For this reason and because of the significant role they play in the healthcare industry, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared 2020 the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife and extended it into 2021, and the American Nurses Association (ANA) followed suit by expanding National Nurses Week to become Nurses Month in May of 2021.
The theme of this year’s Nurses Month is “Nurses Make a Difference,” and this theme couldn’t be more fitting, according to LocumTenens.com associates who work closely with advanced practice nurses. “I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with Nurse Practitioners every day,” says Elizabeth Prater, Account Executive, Primary Care at LocumTenens.com. “They are some of the most kind and generous people who dedicate their lives to helping others. I am honored to be able to assist them in finding the perfect job!”
Now that Nurses Week has become Nurses Month, each week of May has a different focus, allowing healthcare administrators and those who work closely with nurses different opportunities to honor them and the difference they make in various ways.
How can you celebrate Nurses Week?
Week 1 (May 1st-7th): Self-care – The theme of the first week in May is self-care, an opportunity for colleagues, family and friends to support and encourage the nurses in their lives to provide themselves with some of the care they’re so adept at providing others. Resources available on the ANA’s website include webinars and blog posts about the importance of self-care and how to practice it, wellness and fitness tips and more.
Week 2 (May 8th-14th): Recognition – The second week’s theme is recognition, with the goal of making the important work nurses do more visible. Awareness is an important step in ensuring nurses receive the recognition they deserve, so if you’re a healthcare administrator, consider ways you might spotlight the important contributions nurses make at your healthcare facility and for your patients. While regulations will likely preclude you from sharing the details of these contributions publicly, many nurses will likely appreciate the recognition among colleagues. Whether you hire and employ nurses or have nurse colleagues, friends or family members, consider writing them a thank you note and letting them know why and how much you appreciate all they do. The ANA offers a toolkit with a thank you card, which can be downloaded here.
Week 3 (May 15th-21st): Professional Development – During the third week of Nurses Month, the ANA is offering a free webinar on May 19th called Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, 4th Edition. Visit the ANA’s website for more details and to register.
Week 4 (May 22nd-29th): Community Engagement – Similarly to week three, an important part of week four is education, but this time it’s for the public. Educating the community about the contributions nurses make can allow them to better support nurses so they can better care for the community.
Several companies are offering freebies or discounts to nurses this month, and a list of some of these offers can be found here.