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National Nurses Week recognizes the professionals Americans trust most

Nurses consistently rank at the top of the country’s most trusted professionals. And this week, America celebrates them.

National Nurses Week begins on National Nurses Day, May 6, and concludes on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale.
Here are some facts about the nurses that tend to you when you’re sick — and the week that celebrates them:

How many nurses are there in the US?

There are more than 4 million registered nurses in the US, says the American Nursing Association.

What degree do you need to become a nurse?

According to the American Nursing Association, a diploma in nursing was once the most common route to becoming a nurse. But now there are various paths that one can take, as outlined here.

How did Nurses Week originate?

There were several attempts to recognize nurses annually. But it wasn’t until1993 that the American Nursing Association permanently designed a National Nurses Week to “celebrate and elevate the nursing profession.”

How respected is nursing as a profession?

For more than 15 years, Americans have rated nursing as the no. 1 most-trusted profession, says Gallup. In a poll conducted last year, Gallup found that 84% of those surveyed rated the honesty and ethical standards of nurses as “very high” or “high” — above that of doctors, pharmacists and teachers.

  • National Nurses Day opens National Nurses Week, May 6-12 and is one of the nation’s largest health care events. National Nurses Week concludes on the birth date of Florence Nightingale.
  • More than 2.7 million people work as registered nurses (RNs) in the United States. The field of nursing also includes 752,300 licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses, 1.5 million nursing aides and attendants and more than 900,000 home health aides (Sources: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and U.S. Department of Labor).
  • Hallmark was the first greeting card company to create cards specifically for National Nurses Day in 1992.
  • Hallmark has offered cards that recognize graduation from nurses’ training since the 1950s.

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