National Nurses Day is celebrated annually on May 6 to raise awareness of the important role nurses play in American life. It marks the beginning of National Nurses Week, which ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale. Nightingale is celebrated as the founder of professional nursing due to her pioneering work during the Crimean War (1853-1856). She became known as “The Lady with the Lamp” because of her habit of making rounds at night.
National Nurses Week was first observed in October 1954, the 100th anniversary of Nightingale’s mission to Crimea. May 6 was designated the date for the observance in 1982.
We honor the 9,000 PEF nurses working tirelessly every day to provide safe and humane health services to the children, youth, adults and older New Yorkers who seek care in nine agencies throughout NYS. These dedicated professionals continue to “shine the light” for good patient care.