About National Nursing Week
The week draws attention to nurses, increasing the awareness of the public, policy-makers and governments of the many contributions of nursing to the well-being of Canadians.
In 1971, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) designated May 12, the birthday of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale, as International Nurses Day. In 1985, the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) members passed a resolution to begin negotiations with the federal government to have the week containing May 12 proclaimed as National Nurses Week annually. Soon after, the federal minister of health proclaimed the second week of May as National Nurses Week. In 1993, the name was changed to National Nursing Week to emphasize the profession's accomplishments as a discipline.