What National Nurses Month is All About

What National Nurses Month is All About

Travel nurses, your time is now! In 1991, the first official “National Nurses Week” was observed May 6th through May 12th, and we’ve had a week every year since then. However, this year is something just a little different!

The Entire Month of May is Dedicated to Nurses

Yes, it’s still “National Nurses Week”. Moreover, the whole month of May is designated to appreciate your downright heroic efforts over the last two years. Last year was supposed to be your year, the World Health Organization dubbed 2020 the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, after all. Unfortunately, the novel coronavirus exploded onto the global scene, and while it certainly brought nurses more media attention than we’ve ever seen, it was so rife with struggle and plight that all the attention hardly felt like a celebration of you.

The American Nurses Association (ANA) created a theme for this month, “Nurses Make a Difference”, In support of this grand theme, each week of May is designated towards a specific purpose.

Weekly Themes for Nurses Month

The first week of May (1st-7th) is dedicated to self-care. Yes, burnout is a common topic in our industry. Psychologists and nurses alike agree that self-care is paramount to combating self-care. Unfortunately, while we all know that self-care is important for nurses, the actual doing of self-care is hard for many to follow through on.

We believe that one of the many benefits of being a travel nurse is that the constant change in the work environment and geographic location are natural combatants of burnout. Travel nurse contracts are generally eight to 13 weeks long, and in times of crisis (hello, COVID) many contracts are even shorter. This keeps nurses from getting bogged down in workplace politics which can be an energy drain. Unfortunately, we know that travel nurses in this past year have been pushing themselves very hard, particularly those who took crisis response contracts.

So, we urge you to take this first week of May and reflect on things both big and small that you can do for yourself to make self-care a priority and perhaps a part of your weekly or monthly routine.

The second week (8th-14th) is set to emphasize recognition. Look to your fellow nurses and find moments to recognize their hard work and dedication. Furthermore, look to yourself! Recognize the good you do and how you contribute to your workplace.

The third week (15th-21st) will focus on professional development. To keep with the theme of this third week, the ANA is hosting a webinar “Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, 4th Edition.” on May 19th for free.

In addition to registering for the webinar, there is more that you can do. Review your resume. In your descriptions of your work experiences, are you forgetting some things? Have you glossed over your soft skills, perhaps your gentle bedside manner that allows your patients to have confidence and trust while you care for them? Did you take any crisis response contracts over the last year? Maybe it’s time to ask for updated references for people who have openly appreciated your skill and dedication.

Ask yourself about your career goals. Is there a specialty you have an interest in? Talk with our recruiters about finding a contract that will allow you work experience to support certification for your specialty. Have you worked a rural travel nursing contract? If your experiences have all been large hospitals in urban or metro cities, a rural assignment would add depth to your career repertoire and certainly provide you with a new perspective or insights.

Week four (22nd-29th) will focus on community engagement. For those of you on social media, this is your ballpark! When you post about your nurse identity, don’t forget the hashtags; #nationalnursesmonth #nursesunite #nurseday #nursehumor #nurses #nursesweek #nurselife.

Discounts and Freebies for Nurses

Now for your retail therapy discounts and freebies! Yes, we’ve rounded up some of the offers we’re seeing to celebrate nurses, and after reading this list, you’ll probably want to hit the road.

  • Kindle readers will find Amazon has provided a list of free books about nursing. Subjects range from a biography of Florence Nightingale to more scientific themes such as EKGs and microbiology.
  • On May 6th only, show your nurse ID for a free medium-sized coffee (hot or iced) at Dunkin’. No purchase necessary, offer available at participating locations.
  • Chipotle is offering free burritos throughout the month of May, while supplies last. This deal is sure to be a favorite this month.
  • Macayo’s created a special menu just for nurses, May 6th through May 12th.
  • Brooklyn Bedding is giving a 25% discount (online) when you purchase sheets, pillows, and/or a mattress. How old is your mattress, by the way?
  • Outback Steakhouse offers all healthcare workers a Heroes Discount of 10%.
  • The comfy shoe company Crocs does a daily shoe giveaway (they give away 10,000 pairs every single day!) to nurses at 12pm ET. Go to their website and get in the virtual line for your chance to win a pair of crocs.
  • One free admission to the Phoenix Art Museum including the special exhibit with nurse ID. The offer is valid May 5-16.
  • Participating IHOP restaurants are offering a 25% to nurses when they show ID.
  • Verizon now has pricing plans for “Those Who Serve”. These plans are available for new and existing customers.
  • Asics is offering 40% full-priced items for verified nurse professionals.
  • For those of you who need to update your glasses or contacts, it’s a good thing you waited. Discount Glasses is offering a 40% discount under the promo code NERDYNURSE40 and Discount Contact Lenses is offering a 20% discount under the promo code NERDYNURSE20.
  • Save 50% when you purchase a designer ID badge reel from Badge Blooms on Etsy. This offer is valid on May 12th, under the promo code BLOOMSNURSEWEEK21.

This list of freebies is by no means exhaustive. When you’re out and about this week (month) be sure to ask the stores and restaurants if they’re offering a discount for nurses this week. It doesn’t hurt to ask, and it just might give you an opportunity for some community engagement au natural.