Nurses' Week is Coming. Our Nation's Nursing Professionals Deserve Better.

How will a third year of pandemic nursing be celebrated? Cold pizza? Stale pastries? Maybe a flyer in the hallway that says, “Thank you to our Heroes!”? The time to change how we celebrate nurses is now - starting with a reimagining of Nurses Week for 2022 Nurses General Nursing Article

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Nurses' Week is Coming. Our Nation's Nursing Professionals Deserve Better.

By Rebecca Love RN, MSN, FIEL / Chief Clinical Officer, IntelyCare

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses have been giving everything they have to give, and then some. Our jobs have come first - ahead of our families, our friends, and ourselves. We are tired, and we are frustrated. Many of us are traumatized. For most nurses, it is not in our nature to seek public recognition. We do our job because we have a moral and ethical duty to do so to the best of our ability; we entered nursing because we believed it was a profession that would support our families as we supported others. We are proud to care for others, and we want to do it well. The system that we work in does not always make it easy for us. The long hours, rotating schedules, shifts and holidays, consistently short-staffed floors, and heavy workloads that fall on our shoulders are overwhelming.  

Over the last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses have been recognized as “heroes.” This started as a well-intentioned term of endearment inspired by authentic appreciation and awe, but it quickly devolved into a meaningless buzzword that has led nurses to feel anything other than “heroic.” 

We have been fighting an uphill battle, against incredible odds. Our mental health is suffering, so much so that 41% of us are considering leaving the profession for good. We may be making it through, but many of our patients have not. We have seen our patients die in numbers like we have never seen before. We have been the ones to stand at the transition of death for them as their families watched via an iPad. We were the last people they had contact within the painful last hours, days, and weeks of their lives. 

As we enter the Spring of the third year of this pandemic, with another wave cresting and falling behind us, Nurses Week looms in the distance. In years past, Nurses Week has been nothing more than an afterthought, defined by a heaping of platitudes with very little sincere recognition of the profession, which is a shame, as Nurses Week has an important role in the history of our profession.  

Nurses Week started with efforts to recognize a “Nurse Day,” back in 1953. The proposal to honor that day never came to fruition. In the decades that followed, many different attempts to recognize nurse “Days” and “Weeks” were made. It took until 1974 for “International Nurse Day” to be formally established on May 12, in honor of Florence Nightingale’s birthday, and only then by a nursing organization - the International Council of Nurses (ICN).

As the years went on, May 6 became “National Nurses Day” (starting in 1982) and the week of May 6 – 12 became “National Nurses Week” (starting in 1991).

The sheer number of attempts it took for nurses to receive a day of recognition speaks for itself. Nurses are necessary to the functioning of society. They bring our babies into the world, keep our loved ones healthy throughout their lives, and help usher them into death as comfortably and peacefully as possible when that time comes. And yet, it took decades to designate a day of recognition, that morphed into a week? And during that time the best we can do is throw them a pizza party that they might be able to enjoy the remnants of at the end of a long shift? 

So, how will a third year of pandemic nursing be celebrated? Cold pizza? Stale pastries? Maybe a flyer in the hallway that says, “Thank you to our Heroes!”? That has become the standard for most, but it is not the standard for all. It is time that Nurses Week really became a celebration, designed by nurses, for nurses – and that is what IntelyCare has done. A group of nurses at IntelyCare came together to say, “If we were to redesign Nurses Week, what would it look like?”

IntelyCare is reimagining Nurses Week in so many ways. First and foremost, they are updating the name to Nursing Professionals Week. Whether you are a CNA, LPN, RN, or NP, you are equally worth celebrating and recognizing. IntelyCare knows that and is making it clear that everyone is included.

Second, they are ditching the pizza party “celebration.” You may never guess what they are doing instead because it is almost too good to be true... They are hosting a cruise! Intely@Sea is a 5-day cruise out of Miami, traveling to the Bahamas. It is going to be packed with hundreds of nursing professionals – colleagues, friends, and soon-to-be friends – all on board to get the rest and relaxation that they deserve after all the hours of strenuous work that their careers have demanded of them.

Third, over 20 courses for nursing professionals will be available to sign up for on the ship to receive Continuing Education credits – for free! That’s right – anyone on board Intely@Sea will be able to sign up for as many CE courses as they choose to earn their continuing education credits. All the courses will be taught by industry experts and colleagues.

This is the way that nurses should be recognized and celebrated – with a Nursing Professionals Week that recognizes everyone’s commitments and contributions, that provides a real space to unwind and rejuvenate, and that gives access to many social and educational opportunities.

Nurses give so much – it’s time that Nurses Week gives something to them.

And with that: Give us some sun. Give us our friends. Give us relaxation. Give us a chance to learn more about how we can better provide care. And provide this form of ‘thanks’ to as many nursing professionals as possible. We’ll come back from an experience like this feeling truly appreciated and better equipped to do our jobs to the best of our ability – and feel like Nursing Professionals Week means something to all of us.  


National Nurses Week History

Beyond Burnout: Nurses Suffer From PTSD as Spiraling Work Demands Force Them to Sacrifice Their Mental Well-Being

How Will You Celebrate Nurses Week 2022?

This is a sponsored article brought to you by in conjunction with the advertiser. The views expressed in this article are those of the advertiser and do not necessarily reflect, its parent company, or its staff.

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Rebecca Love RN, MSN, FIEL / Chief Clinical Officer, InteleyCare As CCO, Rebecca acts as a company evangelist for nursing professionals, giving them a louder voice by identifying the issues they face and advocating for ways to overcome them. She also oversees clinical operations and compliance. The founder of, Rebecca is regarded as a pioneer in developing technology solutions that benefit nursing professionals. She is also one of the country’s most prominent advocates for nurses, with her 2018 TEDx Talk marking the first address by a nurse to be featured on the main platform.

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5,078 Posts

I. Have. No. Words.

Guest 1152923

301 Posts

     Wait...what?  'IntelyCare', a "healthcare scheduling and staffing platform" authoring an article on nurse burnout??  Am I missing something here? 

Tweety, BSN, RN

33,538 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.
7 hours ago, morelostthanfound said:

     Wait...what?  'IntelyCare', a "healthcare scheduling and staffing platform" authoring an article on nurse burnout??  Am I missing something here? 

No.  This clearly is an advertisement.  

That being said, I do like the idea of changing it to "Nursing Professionals Day/Week" in order for it be be more encompassing of all of us in nursing. Nursing Assistants do have their own week in June, so there's that but it seems the bigger deal is Nurses Week.    


5,078 Posts

I have no issue with the ads but this one just made me snort. Sure, I'll go on your awesome cruise. Oh wait, that would mean I would have to actually GET vacation but I can't, because we have no staff...ever. Plus it leaves in like 5 days. Yeah, that'll work.

Davey Do

1 Article; 10,370 Posts

Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years).



5,078 Posts

Apparently I DID have words. 🤣


Who wants to spend their vacation doing something work related like getting CEUs anyway? Kind of defeats the purpose if you ask me. 


255 Posts

Specializes in ICU/ER/Med-Surg/Case Management/Manageme.

I didn't realize it was an ad until after I "liked" it and read other comments.  Regardless, I absolutely agree with the premise of the article.  Nurses Day/Week - whatever - has always been almost like an insult to me.  Free lunch in the cafeteria - not only horrible food but, if you were lucky enough to get a lunch break, stand in line for 15 minutes of your 30 minute break.  Donuts on the report table in the morning.  Gee, thanks.  Or a sippy cup advertising the hospital.  So give me the cruise and working CEU's along with the ads.  And actually, one of the most fun vacations I ever had was attending a NTI conference way back in 19...I'm not even going to say!  LOL  But before some of y'all were even thought of.  

Specializes in Primary Care, Military.

I remember Nurse's week turning more into Hospital week with less focus on nurses. Any and all free food or events were during the day and Monday-Friday only, so catered to Admin convenience, and completely left the night shift out of everything. Any gifts were just hospital merchandise and those were even becoming rare. But hey, they cared, just like they cared to give you the taxed $25 gift card to the grocery store for Christmas. 


tnbutterfly - Mary, BSN

91 Articles; 5,918 Posts

Specializes in Peds, Med-Surg, Disaster Nsg, Parish Nsg.

Thank you, Rebecca Love, RN, MSN, FIEL for sharing this article with us.  You have been a huge advocate for nursing professionals through the years as Chief Clinical Officer of IntelyCare as well as through your TED talks, best-seeling books, and more. 

I think we all agree that all nursing professionals deserve better than what they are getting.... not only on Nurses Day, Nurses Week, and Nurses Month but throughout the year.

I hope our readers go to Page one to read the rest of your bio that was recently added.

NutmeggeRN, BSN

3 Articles; 4,601 Posts

Specializes in kids.

Appreciate the sentiment....but this is the fist I have heard of this (May 6)....long past any ability to get any early bird savings but actually as as school nurse completely cannot go...and I'm not sure I am ready to cruise yet given all the Omicron variants...

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