National Nurses Week and the Future of Nursing

3 min to read
A young nurse standing with a stethoscope on her shoulders

“Nurses are rooted in strength, forged in fire and growing in power. Rooted in Strength we create our new path forward as leaders in healthcare.”

-American Association of Critical-Care Nurses President Beth Wathen

National Nurse Appreciation Week generally honors the profession’s contributions and serves as a standing tribute to the sacrifices they make every day within our healthcare system. It reminds us to thank the too-often underappreciated medical professionals who perform essential healthcare tasks—from assisting with life-threatening crises in Emergency Rooms and delivering babies to caring for the elderly and serving as the first point of contact for most patients. 

The pandemic has left all of us with a renewed sense of just how essential nurses are, and it comes as no surprise that they have been found to be the most trusted medical professionals. According to a 2020 Gallup Poll, 89% of Americans rated the honesty and ethical standards of nurses as “high” or “very high.” It’s no wonder that nurses currently make up the largest group of professionals working in healthcare. 

When Is Nurse Appreciation Week?

Each May since 1954, we pay tribute to nurses and nursing with a Nurse Appreciation Week. The first was held in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s legendary service as a manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War. It wasn’t until 1982, though, that a joint resolution of Congress and the American Nurses Association designated May 6 as the beginning of the Nurse Appreciation Week, running through to May 12, Nightingale’s birthday.

Is Nursing a Good Career?

Nurses truly play a critical role in our healthcare system. So much so that studies have shown that when hospitals and other healthcare facilities don’t have enough nurses, everything from patient safety and mortality rates to overall medical outcomes is impacted. While the future job market is largely unpredictable, healthcare—especially nursing—is projected to be a safe and growing career. In fact, it’s projected that the US alone will see the creation of over 1 million new Registered Nurses positions by 2030.  to meet those demands!  

What’s more, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has projected that the natural turnover of nurses expected to retire or leave the profession will create around 276,800 openings every year just for registered nurses until 2030. 

Two nursing students practicing CPR on a dummy

How to Become a Nurse: Nursing Programs and Specialties

There are as many kinds of nurses as there are kinds of doctors, from Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) and Mental Health Nurses to Nursing Administrators and Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS). Nursing can be suited to a wide range of individuals, so if your child is wondering why nursing is a good career and expresses an interest, you can help them by supporting the qualities and skills that thrive in the healthcare field.  

Nursing is a wonderful field for children who are natural helpers, who care for people, and who don’t shy away from challenges when things get hard. If your child is inquisitive, caring, interested in biology, chemistry, or other natural sciences (and looking for a steady career with lots of growth potential), then nursing might be just the career path for them.  

Pursuing a career in nursing, however, will require its fair share of education, training, and commitment. So, if you have a child who is interested in becoming a nurse, be sure to check out Connection Academy's Resource Hub for more articles, step-by-step visual guides, activities and materials to help foster a devotion to learning.  

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