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
The Influenza pandemic or the Spanish Flu claims millions of lives.
National Hospital Day is officially declared by President Warren G. Harding.
National Hospital Day is expanded to National Hospital Week.
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
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!
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.
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
Florence Nightingale was born to a wealthy British family on May 12, 1820, in Florence, Tuscany, Italy.
In 1850, Nightingale began learning basic nursing skills at the Institution of Protestant Deaconesses in Kaiserwerth, Germany.
Crimean war expedition
On November 5, 1854, Nightingale arrived in Scutari, Turkey, to nurse British soldiers during the Crimean War.
Nightingale Training School
On July 9, 1860, Nightingale set up the ‘Nightingale Training School’ in London, England.
Nightingale passed away in her sleep on August 13, 1910.
Why National Hospital Day is Important
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.
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.
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