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National Hospital Day – May 12, 2023

National Hospital Day is observed annually on May 12 and aims to educate the public about medical examinations and treatments. Officially declared by former U.S. President Warren G. Harding, the holiday was observed for the first time on May 12, 1921. The idea was conceived by Matthew O. Foley, a Chicago-based editor, as a way to reawaken public trust and confidence in the medical sector in the aftermath of the deadly Spanish Flu, which claimed millions of lives. May 12 was chosen as the date to commemorate the birthday of Florence Nightingale, known as the founder of modern nursing.

History of National Hospital Day

National Hospital Day was observed for the first time in 1921 to commemorate the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. She set standards for nursing during the Crimean War of 1854. The idea behind the holiday was conceived by Matthew O. Foley, a managing editor of the Chicago-based magazine “Hospital Management.” Foley’s motive was to renew public confidence in hospitals in the wake of the deadly Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, which claimed about 50 million lives worldwide. Former U.S. President Warren G. Harding officially declared the holiday in 1921.

In honor of Nightingale, hospitals across the United States and Canada were to open their doors to visitors to educate them about medical examination and treatment, while using the opportunity to share healthcare literature and information about nursing schools. In 1941, posters were put up on 12 Casper store windows, containing the slogan “Hospitals — Guardians of Health.” In 1953, National Hospital Day expanded to become National Hospital Week to provide hospitals with more time to educate and inform the public about healthcare. Currently, the holiday is sponsored by the American Hospital Association.

Britannica defines a hospital as “an institution that is built, staffed, and equipped for the diagnosis of disease; for the treatment, both medical and surgical, of the sick and the injured; and for their housing during this process. The modern hospital also often served as a center for investigation and for teaching.”

National Hospital Day timeline

1918
Influenza Claims Lives

The Influenza pandemic or the Spanish Flu claims millions of lives.

1921
National Hospital Day is Officially Declared

National Hospital Day is officially declared by President Warren G. Harding.

1953
National Hospital Week is Observed

National Hospital Day is expanded to National Hospital Week.

1965
International Nurses Day is Established

International Nurses Day is observed for the first time.

National Hospital Day FAQs

How many people died of Spanish Flu in America?

The Spanish Flu claimed about 675,000 lives in America.

Did Florence Nightingale marry?

No, Florence Nightingale never married.

What was Florence Nightingale’s nickname?

She was fondly called “The Lady with the Lamp.”

How to Observe National Hospital Day

  1. Visit a hospital

    Make it a point of duty to perform routine medical check-ups. Health is wealth, so don’t wait until you’re sick; go for that check-up!

  2. Donate funds or your time

    Celebrate by showing kindness to the sick. Hospitals need money to purchase new equipment, maintain old ones and stay in operation. Donate to a hospital near you if it’s within your means. You can also volunteer your time at your closest hospital.

  3. Sharing is caring

    Don’t keep all this important information to yourself. Share this article with your friends and family to spread the word about National Hospital Day.

5 Important Milestones In The Life Of Florence Nightingale

  1. Birth

    Florence Nightingale was born to a wealthy British family on May 12, 1820, in Florence, Tuscany, Italy.

  2. Nurse training

    In 1850, Nightingale began learning basic nursing skills at the Institution of Protestant Deaconesses in Kaiserwerth, Germany.

  3. Crimean war expedition

    On November 5, 1854, Nightingale arrived in Scutari, Turkey, to nurse British soldiers during the Crimean War.

  4. Nightingale Training School

    On July 9, 1860, Nightingale set up the ‘Nightingale Training School’ in London, England.

  5. Death

    Nightingale passed away in her sleep on August 13, 1910.

Why National Hospital Day is Important

  1. National Hospital Day spreads awareness

    This holiday is important because it spreads awareness about medical treatment and the importance of prioritizing healthcare. It’s a reminder to perform routine medical check-ups, regardless of whether or not a person is ill.

  2. National Hospital Day celebrates hospitals

    This holiday celebrates hospitals and their importance to society. Without them, sickness would be rampant, and the injured would remain untreated. Lives depend on the care received in hospitals, which is why they deserve to be celebrated.

  3. National Hospital Day honors medical professionals

    Today, we have the opportunity to appreciate all the hardworking medical professionals who keep the medical sector afloat. Thanks to their selfless efforts, lives are saved daily.

National Hospital Day dates

YearDateDay
2023May 12Friday
2024May 12Sunday
2025May 12Monday
2026May 12Tuesday
2027May 12Wednesday

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