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  • Writer's pictureRachel Ogilby


Nurses Week starts on May 6th (National Nurses Day) and ends on May 12th (Florence Nightingale’s birthdate) this year. This week highlights the contributions of nurses, recognizes their (your!) sacrifices, and honors our incredible health care workers.

History of Nurses’ Week

The International Council of Nurses established May 12th as Nurses Day in 1974. The celebration was extended to a full week in 1994, and National Nurses Week was officially born. Did you know that Florence nightingale's nickname is “Lady with the Lamp”, based on her visits to injured soldiers? Annually on May 12th, nurses in the UK pass a ceremonial lamp along the Westminster Abbey to the abbey's high altar, symbolizing the passage of knowledge.

Ways to Celebrate

How are you planning on celebrating Nurses Week? My hospital is offering many presentations related to health and wellness, highlighting research and quality improvement projects done by nurses, recognizing specific nurses for innovation in the past year, and (of course!) supplying gifts to the nursing staff. Leadership will make rounds on nursing units and our incredible pastoral care team will provide the much-anticipated Blessing of the Hands.

In addition, I’ll be making sure I send sweet messages to my cherished nurse friends – previous coworkers, friends I met in undergraduate and graduate school, and current colleagues!

Want to get involved? Share your story or photo at to enter into their digital storybook that evolves throughout the year. You can also look for free webinars and resources at AACN or ANA.

You can also celebrate by thanking a nurse friend for their hard work, asking someone to share a nursing story with you, or share your own nursing story with someone. This is another great opportunity to provide some self-care - get a massage, take a bath, go for a walk in nature, or simply rest!

Deals and Gifts for Nurses

During nurses week, many companies recognize nurses by offering free goodies (like cinnabons, coffee, and Chik-fil-A) and deals. Deals vary from a bogo burrito to mattresses to car rentals!

Free stuff and deals for nurses can be found at these websites:

Here’s a list of the freebies found on!

  • 1-800-Flowers: 1-800-Flowers typically has a coupon for nurses for a percentage off a bouquet.

  • Amazon: During Nurses Week, Amazon often offers free nursing books, healthcare books, and caregiver books.

  • Chick-fil-A: Many local Chick-fil-A restaurants offer free sides, drinks, or snacks for nurses.

  • Chipotle: Chipotle offers medical professionals BOGO 50 percent off.

  • Cinnabon: Cinnabon offers a free classic roll if you show a valid nurse ID.

  • Dunkin Donuts: Score a free iced coffee with a valid healthcare ID during Nurses Week at participating Dunkin locations.

  • Einstein Brothers Bagels: Nurses get a free bagel and shmear when they wear scrubs at participating locations.

  • Enlightened Ice Cream: Check the Enlightened Ice Cream website during Nurses Week to snag a coupon for a free pint of ice cream.

  • Geico: For members of the Association of Women’s Health and Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, Geico offers insurance discounts.

  • Medisave: Get a discount on nursing shoes.

  • Scooter’s Coffee: 50 percent off any drink.

  • Uniform Advantage: 50 percent off all uniforms

  • Walt Disney World: special rate for nurses.

  • Westgate Resorts: 10 percent off the best rate with Westgate Resorts by using code NURSE10.

  • Achieve Test Prep: Access a free 1.5-hour virtual class about the essentials of nursing.

  • American Nurses Association (ANA): Check-in during Nurses Week for a free webinar about elevating the nursing profession. This course counts as one CNE contact hour.

  • American Nurse Today: Receive a free subscription for joining the mailing list during Nurses Week.

  • Nurse Journal: Attend a free online course designed for nursing students.

  • Unbound Medicine: Get a 30-day free trial to Unbound Medicine’s mobile app.

How do you plan on celebrating nurses week?

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