National Nurses Day in the USA Date in the current year: May 6, 2016

National Nurses Day in the USA May 6 is National Nurses Day in the USA. This holiday is also known as National RN Recognition Day and it begins the National Nurses Week.

The date for National Nurses Day hasn't been chosen randomly. May 12, that is the end of National Nurses Week, is the birthday of Florence Nightingale, English social reformer and the founder of modern nursing. She is known for serving as a nurse during the Crimean War, when Russia fought an alliance of Britain, France, Sardinia and the Ottoman Empire. Due to her habit to make rounds at night she was called “The Lady with the Lamp”.

National Nurses Day was established in 1953, when Dorothy Sutherland, an employee at the United States Department of Health, sent a letter to President Dwight D. Eisenhower asking for a holiday, that would honor nurses and their contributions to the life of the society. However, the official proclamation wasn't made, but the following year people began celebrating the holiday on their own.

National Nurse Day was made an official holiday only by President Richard Nixon and the very first National Nurse Week was proclaimed in 1974. In 1981 Nurses in New Mexico initiated the celebration of holiday on May 6, that was declared as National Recognition Day for Nurses. ANA Board of Directors promoted the proposal and the next year the U.S. Congress decided May 6 to be National RN Recognition Day, that was expanded in 1990 to a week-long celebration.

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