The week draws attention to nurses, increasing the awareness of the public, policy-makers and governments of the many contributions of nursing to the well-being of Canadians.
In 1971, ICN designated May 12, the birthday of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale, as International Nurses Day. In 1985, CNA members passed a resolution to begin negotiations with the federal government to have the week containing May 12 proclaimed as National Nurses Week annually. Soon after, the federal minister of health proclaimed the second week of May as National Nurses Week. In 1993, the name was changed to National Nursing Week to emphasize the profession’s accomplishments as a discipline.
The theme this year is Our Nurses. Our Future. This theme showcases the many roles that nurses play in a patient’s health-care journey. The pandemic brought to light the courage and commitment that nurses work under every day and showed the important role that nurses play in the community.