National Nursing Assistants Day and Week
National Nursing Assistants Day kicks off National Nursing Assistants Week which is observed on the second full week of June. National Nursing Assistants’ Week starts on the Thursday of the second full week of June and is celebrated for full seven days. Nursing Assistants go by many titles (CNA, LNA, RNA, HHA) but they all provide hands-on care to others who need assistance with daily tasks of care. This week we recognize the hard work of our Nursing Assistants.
In 2022 the National Nursing Assistants Day will fall on the 16th of June and National Nursing Assistants Week will be celebrated from June 16 to June 22, with the theme of “I’m Still Standing.”
This annual celebration is an opportune time to formally recognize and acknowledge the valuable contributions made by members of their staff every day—especially the Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) who provide quality care to residents.
The National Nursing Assistants Week celebration started back in 1977 as a way to show appreciation to all the Nurse Assistants for their hard work and dedication to the nursing profession.
The certified nursing assistant profession officially began around the time of World War I when there was a high demand for care to treat wounded soldiers. Because of the amount of care needed, the American Red Cross created the Volunteer Nurses’ Aide Service. This program trained young women as nurses’ aides to provide basic assistance to overworked nurses.
During World War II, the Red Cross reinstated the program resulting in more than 12,000 women volunteering their services. They worked alongside army nurses treating soldiers and filling empty positions in hospitals throughout reserves, bases, and even civilian hospitals. Acknowledging the increased demand for trained medical personnel, President Reagan passed the Omnibus Reconciliation Act which created the profession of Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA).
Certified nursing assistants are continuously called to action, proving over and over their dedication, unique skills, and commitment to the people in their care. Recognizing the essential role of certified nursing assistants led to the declaration in 1977 of National Nursing Assistants Week. The Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1987 encouraged the hiring of CNAs in Medicaid and Medicare-approved medical facilities all across the country.
Since 1977, a national day of recognition and appreciation has been observed for CNAs and has expanded to include an entire week of celebration and pride in this ever-needed role.
How to celebrate
Celebrate the National Nursing Assistants Day by thanking them for their role. Hospitals and healthcare facilities should show their appreciation for the hard-working professionals all year long, but having a week of dedicated focus and celebration can be especially great for morale. Nursing Assistant Appreciation Week instills a sense of pride in those doing often-thankless work and is also just plain fun for those involved.
For anyone who doesn’t work in the healthcare setting or has the influence to pull off a department-wide celebration, there are still many ways you can express your appreciation and admiration of the CNAs in your life. You may have a spouse, a friend, or a family member who is a hard-working CNA and you are looking for a way to celebrate them and encourage them to feel proud of their chosen career.
- Take them out for a celebratory dinner
- Encourage your nursing assistants to bring in baby or childhood photos.
- Go for a spa day or pedicure together
- Invest in some high-quality shoes for them
- Give a social media shout out
- Write a thank note or card
The people who choose this career deserve our thanks and recognition all year long, but this week provides a special opportunity to make them feel loved, appreciated, and proud. And if you are reading this and YOU are a nursing assistant, know that we are sending a big THANK YOU your way, this week and always.
Suggested Read: International Nurses Day