National Nursing Week – Changing Lives, Shaping Tomorrow


In 1971, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) designated May 12th, the birthday of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale, as International Nurses Day.

In 1985, Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) members passed a resolution to  negotiate with the federal government to have the week containing May 12th proclaimed as National Nurses Week annually. Soon after, the Federal Minister of Health proclaimed the second week of May as National Nurses Week and, in 1993, the name was changed to National Nursing Week to emphasize the profession’s accomplishments as a discipline.

Nurses play a crucial role in directly impacting the lives of patients. Through their care, compassion and expertise, they contribute to positive changes in the health and well-being of individuals.

Nurses often advocate for their patients, ensuring they receive the best possible care and support. This advocacy can bring about transformative changes in people’s lives.

The CNA explains that “…nurses are at the forefront of health-care innovation, contributing to advancements in treatments, technologies and patient care practices. Their commitment to learning and adapting helps shape the future of health care.  Nurses, as educators, have a significant impact on shaping the next generation of health-care professionals. Their knowledge and mentorship influence the future of the nursing profession.”

Celebrate National Nursing Week (May 6-12) and International Nurses Day (May 12).