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National Nurses Day

Learn about the history of Nurses Day

Hallmark staff
Learn about the history of Nurses Day

In 1953, an official with the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare proposed that President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaim a “Nurses Day,” although Eisenhower did not sign it. Other attempts at establishing a day recognizing nurses were not successful until President Richard Nixon proclaimed a National Nurse Week in 1974.

In 1982, a joint congressional resolution designated May 6 as National Recognition Day for Nurses. In 1990, the American Nurses Association expanded the recognition of National Nurses Week (May 6-12) to accommodate the varied schedules of America's nurses.

Did you know?

  • National Nurses Day opens National Nurses Week, May 6-12. National Nurses Week concludes on the birth date of Florence Nightingale.
  • More than 2.7 million people work as registered nurses (RNs) in the United States. The field of nursing also includes 738,400 licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses, 1.5 million nursing assistants and orderlies, and more than 875,000 home health aides. (Sources: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook)
  • Hallmark was the first greeting card company to create cards specifically for National Nurses Day in 1992.
  • Hallmark has offered cards that recognize graduation from nurses’ training since the 1950s.