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Celebrate National Nurses Week: “Nurses Make the Difference”

National Nurses Week is an annual celebration that honors the contributions of nurses. It begins on May 6, National Nurses Day, and ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

This year, the American Nurses Association celebrates National Nurses Week with the theme of “Nurses Make the Difference” to underscore the significant impact of the nursing profession on our lives. Debbie Hatmaker, PhD, RN, FAAN, Chief Nursing Officer and Acting CEO of the ANA, highlighted this year’s emphasis on engagement and interaction to elicit gratitude for nurses across the U.S. In support of that, Nurse.com created the video below, along with stories highlighting its theme for the week, “Celebrating the Heart and Soul of Health Care.”

If you are a nurse, we thank you for making a difference in health care and in your communities all over the world.

If you have benefited from the care of a nurse, we’ll suggest some ways to show appreciation and support for all the nurses who embody the spirit of compassion and care in every health care setting — one of those being to learn how you can improve your nurses’ work lives by reading our nurse salary and job satisfaction report.

Nurses make the difference in health care

Nurses are the backbone of our healthcare system, providing essential services to patients across the continuum of care. They are involved in every aspect of health care — from prevention and education to diagnosis and treatment, to recovery and rehabilitation. Nurses are leaders, innovators, researchers, and advocates who influence the quality, safety, and accessibility of health care.

Nurses make a difference every day by providing high-quality, compassionate, and ethical care to millions of people. They are at the forefront of responding to emerging health challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid crisis, and our aging population. They are truly essential to the health and resilience of all of us.

Nurses make a difference in our communities

Nurses are not only present in hospitals and clinics, but also in schools, workplaces, homes, and other settings, where they serve as health promoters, educators, counselors, and mentors. They are role models, mentors, and inspirations who encourage others to pursue their goals. Nurses are the heart and soul of their communities, and they truly make the world a better place.

Nurses are part of their local communities but also part of the global community, where they contribute to the advancement of health and human rights. They make a difference every day by working toward the common vision of a healthier, safer, and more equitable world. They are also agents of change who challenge the status quo, transforming the healthcare system and society.

Thank, celebrate, and support your nurses

National Nurses Week is a time to celebrate, honor, and show appreciation and support for the nurses who work tirelessly and selflessly to care for us and our loved ones. Here are some ways to celebrate and support nurses during National Nurses Week and beyond:

  • Send a thank-you card, email, or message to a nurse who has made a difference in your life or in the life of someone you know.
  • Share a positive story or testimonial about a nurse on social media, using the hashtags #NursesMakeTheDifference, #NationalNursesWeek, or #NursesLightUptheSky.
  • Join the American Nurses’ Association’s #NursesLightUptheSky event by shining a light from your window, balcony, or porch, on May 12 at 8:30 p.m. local time, to honor the nurses who light up the sky with their courage and compassion.
  • Donate to a local, national, or international nursing organization or charity, such as the American Nurses Foundation, the Nurses House, or the International Medical Corps.
  • Send a gift basket, flowers, or treats to a nursing unit or department in your local hospital or clinic.
  • Offer to help a nurse in your family, neighborhood, or circle of friends, by running errands, doing chores, or providing childcare.
  • Advocate for the health, safety, and well-being of nurses and other health care workers by contacting your local, state, or federal representatives, and urging them to support policies and legislation that protect and empower the nursing profession.

Nurses make a difference in our lives and in the world — every day, in every way. Let’s celebrate and support them, not only during National Nurses Week, but always. Thank you, nurses, for making the difference!

What do nurses really want?

If you want to learn what nurses really need — and want — read our 2024 Nurse Salary and Job Satisfaction Report. Our survey respondents included 3,600 registered nurses (RNs), advanced practice registered nurses/advanced registered nurse practitioners (APRNs/ARNPs), and licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPNs/LVNs) from across the nation. Our report provides insights into nurses’ professional needs and desires, providing clear information on how to improve their professional and personal fulfillment.

Attending to nurses’ needs helps ensure that they stay in their jobs, and it helps bring new nurses into the profession. This year, our survey went beyond nurse salary and job satisfaction. We asked about nurses’ experiences with workplace violence and how their work life affects their mental health and wellness. We owe it to our nurses to pay attention to what they reported.

Inside the report: Nurse salary and benefits information

Excerpt from nurse salary and job satisfaction report on wellness resources nurses want

This year’s report includes updated information on nurse salaries by demographic, job attributes, benefits, and resources, as well as nurse education pathways and career advancement avenues. Specially tailored for healthcare organizations that employ nurses, we provide keys to enhancing nurses’ job satisfaction and strengthening retention.

Find answers to the following questions:

  • How much have median nurse salaries increased since our 2022 report?
  • Do higher nurse education levels result in higher salaries?
  • Do nurses feel the full range of their skills is being utilized?
  • What is the status of the gender pay gap among nurses?

New this year: Nurse mental health, wellbeing, and workplace violence

For the first time, we asked survey participants about workplace violence, mental health, and wellness. These topics have risen in prominence as factors that can have a major impact on nurses, the profession, and healthcare quality — in many cases, more than salary and benefits.

Find answers to the following questions:

  • Which nurse demographics are struggling the most with mental health and wellness?
  • How much have nurse burnout, compassion fatigue, and moral injury worsened?
  • What percentage of nurses reported verbal, sexual, or physical violence on the job?
  • What percentage of nurses would consider job opportunities in another state?

We also asked respondents to rank the top 10 work aspects that positively affected their mental health and well-being. We also asked about the top 10 work aspects that negatively affect mental health and well-being. Here are a few of the top 10 positive aspects:

  • #5 – Effective, supportive leadership (59%)
  • #7 – Competitive salary and wage increases (56%)
  • #9 – Good benefits (50%)

Download the report below for the full findings and analysis.

How Relias can help

At Relias, we provide current research and trusted guidance from industry-leading experts. Our award-winning, accredited healthcare education and workforce enablement solutions provide professional development, continuing education, compliance, and certification pathways for your nurses, helping to support their job satisfaction, retention, and well-being.


2024 Nurse Salary and Job Satisfaction Report

Our 2024 Nurse Salary and Job Satisfaction Report contains a full breakdown of a Nurse.com survey of more than 3,600 nurses. Find industry insights and current data for healthcare leaders, recruiters, and hiring managers to enhance recruitment and retention methods and develop highly engaged staff.

Download report →

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