Nurses Week begins on National Nurses Day, May 6, and culminates May 12

American poet and writer Maya Angelou said, “They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you make them feel.”  

This reference to the impact nurses have on their patients rings true every day, especially for those who help and heal our nation’s military. In their honor next week, the nursing profession is celebrated across the Department of Defense as part of the 2018 National Nurses Week observance.

Nurses Week begins on National Nurses Day, May 6, and culminates May 12 on Florence Nightingale’s birthday, who is widely known as the founder of modern nursing. For the U.S. military, it is an opportunity to recognize the contributions of the women and men serving as nurses since the American Revolution to today. Currently, there are nearly 30,000 military and civilian nurses serving active duty service members, their families, and retirees.

“This week, we proudly celebrate all nurses across the Military Health System – past and present – serving our courageous warfighters, retirees, and their families,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Tom McCaffery. “The selfless service of nurses in the Military Health System and the Department of Defense impacts each of us every day. Their dedication to providing the highest quality care possible to our 9.4 million beneficiaries means that our troops are safer downrange, our military families are healthier back home, and our nation is a more secure, more prosperous place as a result.”

This year’s theme – Nurses: Inspire, Innovate, Influence – embodies the profession that has been voted by the American public as the most ethical and honest profession in the country 16 years in a row, according to the annual Gallup poll on honesty and ethical standards.