As one of the country’s most populous professions, there are over 4 million nurses in the United States. Nurses come from all walks of life while choosing to serve in professional settings that include hospitals, nursing homes, private residences, and clinics. If you haven’t already, odds are that you will receive care from a nurse at some point in your life. National Nurses Week is May 6th through May 12th, making it the perfect time to say “thank you” to the dedicated nursing professionals that make our world a better place. 

The History of National Nurses Week

Once viewed as lowly doctors’ assistants, nurses today work in a wide range of specialties and settings, from school nurses that administer vaccines to highly specialized oncology nurses and nurse anesthetists. As uniquely qualified professionals with a wide range of skills, becoming a nurse requires years of study, an extreme focus, and unwavering dedication.

To acknowledge the contributions of nurses and call attention to their working conditions, the International Council of Nurses established May 12th as International Nurses Day in 1974. The celebration was extended to a week within a few years, and in 1994 National Nurses Week was officially born.

How to Express Your Gratitude

Here are some creative ways to show your appreciation this year during National Nurses Week:

“Thank you” card

Everyone likes to receive old-fashioned greeting cards, and nurses are no exception. Mail or drop off yours with a handwritten note telling them how much you appreciate their efforts. If you do hand-deliver the card, give your nurse a warm hug and watch their face light up!

Free meal

Nurses work long hours with few breaks and deserve a treat. Be sure to send that special nurse in your life an Uber meal voucher or Grubhub gift card. Even better, invite them over for a homecooked meal that includes their favorite dishes.

Spa day or massage

In addition to the mental and emotional costs, nursing takes a physical toll on one’s body.  Reward the nurses in your life by gifting them a massage or spa day so they can sit back and get pampered on their day off.

Relaxation kit

Along the same lines, you can also assemble a “pamper kit” that you then hand deliver or mail. Fill your relaxation care package with stress-relievers such as candles, body butter, lip balm, chocolates, skin lotion, or coffee tumbler.

Entertainment tickets

Show your appreciation by including in your “thank you” card some prepaid movie vouchers or tickets for other entertainment venues such as a local play, concert, or ball game.

Social media post

Use your favorite social media platform to post a “shout out” to all the nurses that make the profession what it is. You or a family member may have had a recent experience, for example, recovering in the hospital from an illness. If so, share details about how the nurses went above-and-beyond the call of duty to make your stay more enjoyable.

Sponsor a luncheon

While often serving as the first point of contact for patients, the average nurse is a responsible, dedicated employee that isn’t in it solely for the money. Most do what they do because they want to make a positive difference in the lives of patients and their families.

If you are an employer in the healthcare field, show all nursing team members how much you appreciate their efforts by sponsoring a catered luncheon or dinner on their behalf.

A Heartfelt “Thank You” to Nurses Everywhere

At New Wave Homecare, we appreciate and recognize all the nurses that serve on the front lines every day. As a local home care provider, our highly trained caregivers often work alongside skilled nursing professionals to ensure all the client’s needs are met. Whether your loved one is currently under a nurse’s care or not, we’d love to have an open dialogue with you about your needs and how we can help them comfortably and affordably age in place.

As a locally owned agency with a long track record of success, our highly trained caregivers can step in and provide your family with the care that’s needed. Our home care services include respite care, companion care, medication reminders, senior transportation, light housekeeping, and even 24-hour, live-in assistance. To learn more about our award-winning services now or to get a FREE Home Care Assessment for a senior in Pasadena, Eagle Rock, Los Angeles today, please visit New Wave Home Care at