Recognizing The History of Nurses: Week 2, National Nurses Month

Nurses are the backbone of our healthcare system. So, this Nurses Week and National Nurses Month, it’s time to recognize you. Nurses have a rich history of being the leaders, innovators, and key players in transforming the future of healthcare.

It is no wonder that nurses have been named the most trusted profession for 22 years in a row! You are the ones who compassionately hold our hands during difficult times, advocate for our health, and offer comfort and support when we need it most. 

At CareerStaff, we acknowledge the nurses who have gone above and beyond – past, present and future!

National Nurses Month 2023: Week 2 — Recognition for Nurses

We’re thrilled to celebrate National Nurses Month this May! Week 2 is extra special, landing on the official National Nurses Week: May 6–12. Inspired by the American Nurses Association, and as a special to honor our difference-makers, this week’s theme is Recognition!

This week and month, we honor and recognize the nurses who inspire us every day. Your tireless professionals demonstrate unwavering dedication and skill in your roles, working tirelessly to ensure the best possible patient outcomes.

Ideas to help recognize your efforts this National Nurses Month:

  • Reflect on your progress — take time to honor where you’ve been and how far you’ve come.
  • Create a “wins” journal. Document and save your successes to look back on throughout your nursing career.
  • Further your career goals with the help of a healthcare recruiter.
  • Share the story of why you love being a nurse on social media. Or, consider sharing the story of one of the notable nurses throughout history below.

Recognizing The Nurses Throughout History: National Nurses Week

As we celebrate 33 years of National Nurses Week, let us take a moment to recognize and celebrate the incredible contributions of all the nurses who have come before us throughout history. Without them, our healthcare system would not be where it is today:

Mary Seacole (1805-1881)

Mary Seacole was a trailblazing British-Jamaican nurse who established the “British Hotel” during the Crimean War. 

When she saw the soldiers were in need, she volunteered to nurse them back to health but was denied. However, she found another way to help. Seacole and her business partner opened the British Hotel, a center for nursing hundreds of troops during the war.

Mary Eliza Mahoney (1845-1926)

Mary Eliza Mahoney shattered barriers for African American nurses by becoming the first to complete official nurse training. Despite facing discrimination and limited opportunities, she persevered, ultimately graduating from the New England Hospital for Women and Children’s Nursing School in 1879.

Later, Mahoney went on to co-found the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses and became one of the first Black members of the American Nurses Association.

Lillian Wald (1867-1940)

Lillian Wald, the inventor of the term “public health nurse,” was a true champion for the nursing community. She dedicated her life to advocating for public school nurses. She became the first president of the National Organization for Public Health Nursing.

Her most remarkable achievement was the founding of the Henry Street Settlement. This healthcare center cared for women and children and provided quality healthcare regardless of one’s finances.

Edward T. Lyon (1871-1931)

Edward Lyon was a true pioneer in the history of nurses, breaking barriers for future generations. As the first male nurse commissioned in the U.S. Army Navy Corps, he shattered stereotypes. He showed that anyone could excel in nursing, regardless of gender.

Virginia Henderson (1897-1965)

Virginia Henderson’s Need Theory has reimagined the foundation of nursing education. Her focus on helping patients reach independence quickly is a testament to the dedication and compassion nurses embody every day.

Goldie D. Brangman (1920-2020)

Goldie D. Brangman was part of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s surgical team after the 1958 assassination attempt. Brangman’s legacy and tireless efforts as a nurse anesthetist and co-founder of the School of Nurse Anesthesia at Harlem Hospital made an immense impact on the nursing field.

Loretta C. Ford (1920-present)

Loretta Ford co-founded the first nurse practitioner program. Ford understood that nurses could be instrumental in addressing this need, given the right specialized training. So, she developed a curriculum that allowed physicians and nursing students to work together. In 1965, the program was introduced at the University of Colorado and quickly gained traction.

Her efforts and impact on the history of nurses led her to the Women’s Hall of Fame. In her lifetime, she also received the prestigious Surgeon General’s Medallion award. 

Hazel Johnson-Brown (1927-2011)

Despite facing discrimination and being denied entry to a nursing school in her hometown, Hazel Johnson-Brown did not give up on her dream. Instead, she pursued her education in New York. She joined the Army, quickly rising through the ranks and achieving several promotions.

Johnson-Brown’s leadership and dedication to nursing were undeniable, as she became the director of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Nursing, the chief nurse of the Army hospital in Seoul, and the brigadier general of the Army Nurse Corps.

Celebrate Nurses Week & National Nurses Month with Us!

During Nurses Week, let us honor the history of nurses and those who continue to make a difference in the lives of patients. To this day, your unwavering commitment to providing the best care possible inspires us all. Thank you for all that you do!

In honor of Nurses Week, be sure to join us for our Ultimate Nurse Sneaker Giveaway ($130 Value)! In fact, we’re ready to celebrate you all month long. Keep an eye out for more weekly giveaways, upcoming blogs, and nurse features for National Nurses Month 2023!

Grow personally and professionally this month! Looking for new nursing jobs or opportunities? Discover how you can connect with CareerStaff, or search jobs nationwide now.