CNA Week, which takes place on the Thursday of the second full week of June, is a week full of celebrations honoring the hard work of assistant nurses. This year, it is held from June 13 to 19. Certified nursing assistants began working under the Red Cross program during World War I and have served alongside U.S. Army nurses. Hundreds of young women were trained to care for wounded soldiers in reserve, field, base, and civilian hospitals. Did you know that before 1987, nursing assistants were not required to have a formal education?
History of CNA Week
Nursing has existed throughout history, but it has evolved considerably in recent years. The term ‘nurse’ derives from the Latin word ‘nurtire,’ which means ‘to suckle.’ Nursing was originally referred to as ‘a wet nurse,’ but by the late 16th century, it had evolved to mean ‘a person who cares for the sick.’ The first known documents mentioning nursing as a profession were found to be written in approximately 300 A.D. The Roman Empire attempted to build a hospital in each town, increasing the demand for nurses.
Nursing became more popular in Europe during the Middle Ages because the Catholic Church pushed for medical care. The innovations of the time altered the foundation of modern nursing. Because of changes in European rule between the 10th and 11th centuries, the nursing profession expanded. Hospitals were integrated into monasteries and other religious institutions, and nurses provided patients with a variety of medical care services.
With the closure of monasteries in the 17th century, nursing as a profession fell out of favor. This was revived in the 19th century after Florence Nightingale emphasized nursing as an ideal profession for females. After she, and a group of nurses, reduced the mortality rate during the British-Crimean war, Nightingale single-handedly changed the nursing profession.
CNA Week timeline
Nursing as a profession is mentioned in documents that are believed to be written in 300 A.D.
Hospitals are integrated into monasteries and other religious institutions, increasing the number of nurses.
Nightingale's efforts during the British-Crimean war change the world's perception of nursing as a profession, and nursing becomes an ideal career for women.
The American Nurses Association (formerly known as Nurses Association Alumnae) is formed to protect and advance nursing as a profession.
CNA Week FAQs
What is National Career Nurse Assistant Day?
National career nurse assistant day is celebrated to recognize and appreciate the hard work of nurses.
When is National Nurses Day?
National Nurses Day is observed on May 6 every year.
How do we celebrate National Nursing Week?
Celebrate National Nursing Week by recognizing nurses’ efforts and spreading awareness about the nursing profession.
CNA Week Activities
Give a handwritten letter
Write a letter expressing your gratitude and deliver it to nurses. A handwritten letter will properly convey your feelings to them.
Tell them you appreciate them
If you have or had a nurse who you still remember for their hard work, this is the best week to express your gratitude. Tell them how their work changed your life and that you will remember them.
Read up about the history
Nursing has long struggled to become the profession that it is today. Search the internet to learn about nurses and the struggles they have faced many years ago.
5 Facts About Nursing
The first known nursing school was in India
The first known nursing school was established in India, and it was only open to male students.
Linda Richards received the first nursing diploma
In 1873, Linda Richards became the first American to earn a nursing degree.
Richards invented written patient records
Because she noticed that doctors' and nurse reports were verbal and confusing, she incorporated written records into standard nursing care.
The Year of the Nurse and Midwife
The World Health Organization (WHO) designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.
The first African American nurse
Only four of the 42 students who enrolled in nursing school graduated, and Mary Eliza Mahoney was one of them, making her the first African American nurse.
Why We Love CNA Week
This week is a celebration
National Nursing Assistants Week celebrates the nurses and their hard work. To honor nurses, we can celebrate by simply saying “thanks,” offering nurses a gift or card or even hosting a small appreciation party at your local healthcare facility. No matter the way you choose, be sure to praise the nurses!
It appreciates the work of nurses
We sometimes take nurses for granted, not realizing that their job is critical to our survival if our lives are threatened. This week, we recognize the dedication of nurses.
It acknowledges their role in history
The week-long holiday honors nurses for their contributions to saving countless lives throughout history. It's a way of saying thank you for all of their hard work from historic times to now.
CNA Week dates