There is a popular saying, “Save one life and you’re a hero. Save one hundred lives and you’re a NURSE!”. This saying is true to its core. Since the 19th century nurses have become the heart of the healthcare sector. Since the early 19th century till this day nurses have worked hard to save our lives or cure our diseases. They’ve healed countless people throughout history during the war, famine, viral diseases and what not.
Many of us have read books in our childhood about how Florence nightingale and her team rushed to the battlefield. They rushed there to cure their fellow soldiers navigating through the enemy bullets, and this is just one historic example. There are countless more. For example, The WHO paratroop nurses parachuting into no man’s land. Or the Frontier Nursing Service nurses riding on horseback through the Appalachian Mountains.
That is why to honor them and the nurses who are continuously working in the present time by celebrating the national nurses’ week every year. The National Nurses Week is celebrated worldwide from May 6 – 12 (May 12 is the birthday of Florence Nightingale). In this weekly celebration, nurses are recognized worldwide for all their effort and hard work.
The History of the National Nurses Week
It took a long time before National Nurses Week was officially established. The very first proposition came from Dorothy Sutherland. At that time she was an officer in the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. She drafted a proposition in 1953. But it did not go as per her plan; it was rejected by President Dwight Eisenhower.
It took almost 30 years to establish a celebration for the nurses week. In 1982, it was issued that a declaration that National Recognition Day for Nurses would be May 6, 1982. It took another 12 years to actually establish a whole week of celebration for the nurses. From 1994 onwards National Nurses Week was permanent.
Now that this celebration has become annual and global, most of the countries in the world have their own way to celebrate the National Nurses week. However, all of them follow the basic structure of honoring their nurses. Now if you wish to honor your favorite nurse or the whole administration of nurses working under you. Then the following ideas will be much helpful to you.
1. Free Drinks for Everyone
We all know how busy the nurses are in the hospital. They barely get the time to hydrate themselves as they have long 12 hour+ shifts. So as a gesture of appreciation you can offer them drinks during their shifts. You can move a cart around the hospital as well and offer them free drinks like coffee, juice, tea etc.
2. Massage Therapy
If you were working for 12 hours straight, wouldn’t you want to relax for a bit? Then why not do the same for them?! While it is true that it is not possible to hold massage therapy in between the shifts all year around. But nursing week can be an exception. Just set up some massage tables somewhere offer them free massage whenever they get some free time. A bit of relaxation will boost their mind and body and they’ll be energized for the whole day. I’m sure they will appreciate such thoughtful gestures.
3. Gift box or Gift baskets
Another good way to make them feel special is by organizing a personalized gift box and handing it to them. You can put several things such as chocolates, candies, flowers, gift cards, personalized gifts, mugs etc. You can put their favorite food in there like teas, biscuits, chocolates, candies etc.
If the nurse is very close to you then you’re most likely to know what they like or dislike. You can put customized mugs or T-shirts or even pens, depending on what they like you arrange an appreciation basket.
4. A Themed Hospital Week
This is the most fun one on the list. If you could arrange a whole week of holiday/cosplay themed week, wouldn’t you? If you get permission from the management, you can host this amazing themed week for the nurses. It can be any theme, starting from the Wild West to the superhero genre. Your organizational team can cover one genre a day.
Choose themes that match that have meaning and everyone can understand. Your favorite nurses can dress up as their favorite characters according to the genre of the day. Try decorating the whole hospital according to the theme. It’ll not only brighten up the whole hospital but also make the patients and the nurses equally happy.
5. Appreciation from the Patients
Why not let the patients in for the celebration as well? Let the patients write appreciation cards for the nurses and display them on a wall. OR make a canvas and attach all the cards inside it. You can provide materials to the patients and they can design their own cards. Getting cards will definitely cheer up the nurses and the patients will also be able to feel better about themselves.
6. A Friendly Competition
Apart from the themes of hospital week, another way to make the nurses week more exciting is a friendly competition. You can go two ways with this option. Either you can organize a nursing bases competition or you do a competitive board game competition. If you organize a competition based on nursing skills, there are lots of options as well. There is a vital test contest or medicine test contest or even a name the medicine pills contest. Things will be very competitive since more or less every nurse is well knowledgeable about these things.
But if you plan to organize board games such as monopoly or dungeons-and-dragons, you can make it exciting too. Even UNO, Scrabble and domino are playable as well. Try holding the competition during the less busy hours otherwise not many nurses will be able to participate.