I remember as a kid asking my grandmother, “Why is there a Mother’s Day and a Father’s Day, but no kid’s day?” Her response? “Every day is kid’s day!”
Today, May 12th, is the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth (1820) and the end of National Nurses Week. I would propose, however, that the week not end and that Every Day is National Nurses Day!
In 1953, Dorothy Sutherland, an employee at the United States Department of Health, sent a letter to President Eisenhower proposing a National Nurses Day. Although he did not make an official proclamation, the following year people began celebrating National Nurses Week on their own. It wasn’t until 1974 that President Nixon proclaimed a National Nurses Week, of no specific week however. In 1982, Congress designated May 6th to be National Recognition Day for Nurses and President Reagan signed the proposal. The American Nurses Association expanded the celebration in 1990 to a week-long celebration (May 6-12) known as National Nurses Week.
The brave women and men of the nursing profession deserve to be honored, saluted, and respected as the undisputed wonders they are.
When you get to be my age you’ve met your share of nurses. Some in your doctors’ offices, some in hospitals, some in clinics. They don’t have the privilege of ‘having a bad day’ like you and I can. Literally, everyone a nurse meets is going through something, so they have to be kind whether they feel like it or not. They, themselves, might be a caregiver and working with fellow nurses who are caring for someone they love.
So, please, if you see a nurse today, or any day, give them your seat on the bus, let them step in line in front of you, hold the door for them (female or male) and show them even just an ounce of the kindness they’ll show you, or someone you love, the next time you see them in their workplace.
“I think one’s feelings waste themselves in words, they ought all to be distilled into actions and into actions which bring results.”