Nurses are celebrated during National Nurses Week every year from May 6-12 all over the country. The first day of the period has been designated as Nurses Day. This period includes the birthday of Florence Nightingale, who was considered to have been the founder of nursing. Nightingale was born on May 12, 1820, and died at the age of 90 on August 13, 1910.

Those in the profession

All are celebrated during the week no matter where they work or the type of nursing they do. For instance, some work in hospitals, nursing homes, doctors' offices, prisons, schools, the military, on cruise ships, and other places where lots of people are contained.

Some of the larger churches also have trained personnel to make sure someone is there with medical knowledge in the case of a sickness or a medical emergency during church hours. Some people are visiting nurses who go from house to house to check on patients.

According to the American Nurses Association website, there are about 3.6 million people registered whose primary mission is to provide quality health care for all. This year's theme is "Nursing: The Balance of Mind, Body, and Spirit."

Background of the week

It took a long time to get this week to become National Nurses Week, and it hasn't always been in May.

It was once observed in 1954 from October 11-16. In 1982, those professionals were honored only on one day. That one day was declared as National Nurses Day on May 6. By 1991, the caregivers had a full week to be honored as they are honored today. Those who work in school are singled out and recognized on the Wednesday during National Nurses Week.

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A week has been set aside because most nurses probably aren't recognized enough for the excellent and caring work they do throughout the year. During this week, they are recognized with events to let them know they are appreciated for the work they do. Some businesses provide freebies for them during the week when they show their identification.

If you have a doctor's appointment during the week, make sure you let the nurse know that you are aware what this week is. Even if you don't have an appointment and you see an off-duty nurse, show your appreciation.

Not all females

While most professional nurses are females, there are some that are males. Females have continued to dominate the nursing profession over the years, but males can be good at that job also. According to studies, 91 percent in the United States are females, and only 9 percent are males. Some males have the compassion and patience to provide quality health care, and that's what it takes.