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Nurses Week 2020: Themes, Freebies, Campaigns, and Resources

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By Matt Vera BSN, R.N.

Join us in celebrating Nurses Week 2020 – a special week dedicated to honor and appreciate the contributions of nurses and nursing to our world. Check out our Nurses Week 2020 article below for nurses week gifts ideas, freebies, and discounts for nurses; and stories of inspiration and appreciation for nurses!

Nurses Week 2020 is extra special as the whole year is designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife in honor of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale‘s birth! As the world faces a pandemic, we realize more than ever the importance of nursing and nurses in our society. Help us in supporting the more than 20 million nurses across the world who are saving lives and making a difference every day.

Table of Contents

What is Nurses Week?

National Nurses Week is an annual celebration to showcase the role of nurses and to help raise the profile of the nursing profession.

When is Nurses Week?

Nurses Week is celebrated annually from May 6th and culminates on May 12th, the birthday of Florence Nightingale.

What is International Nurses Day?

May 12th of every year is the observance of International Nurses Day, which is spearheaded by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) since 1971. For Nurses Week 2020, this year’s theme is Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Nursing the World to Health. It is also the 120th anniversary of the ICN.

6 Ways You Can Support Nurses

By Frieda Paton, M.Cur, RN

Applause, thank-you messages, cards, and small gifts to show gratitude to nurses during Nurses Week are all very well. Although appreciated, they sometimes give a very short-lived pleasure for the nurses who are experiencing unparalleled levels of anxiety and overwork in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“And the whole rhetoric around heroism and being an angel because you are a nurse I find unhelpful,” said Nicki Credland, and expert nurse. “We’re not angels, we’re not heroes, we are human beings that have chosen a career, that are highly educated, that work in a patient safety-critical profession, who simply want to go and do the job that we trained to do and be protected to do it.”

“If you really thought I was a hero, you would look for ways to help me,” exclaimed Jillian Primiano, a frontline nurse from Brooklyn. 

Help towards ensuring adequate PPE

The biggest issue facing nurses and other health care staff around the world is the lack of adequate personal protective equipment to protect themselves and their patients against infection. Even now, a large number of policymakers and health care administrators have been slow to respond. This, although the world had been aware of COVID-19 since January and that various organizations and health care staff raised the alarm and asked for government action many weeks ago. Everyone can add their voice to this cause by signing petitions and contacting their political leaders. You can sign petitions that pop up on your social media feeds or use one of the following links:

Getting Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Our Healthcare Heroes.
On #GetUsPPE you can sign a petition or follow a link to approach your senator to support the Medical Supply Chain Emergency Act, a bill proposing that the federal government takes over the medical supply chain under the Defense Production Act. There are also links that you can follow if you’re able to donate either cash or PPE that are not being used or to obtain guidelines for small manufacturers.

US Physicians/Healthcare Workers for PPE in the COVID-19 Pandemic.
A petition to the House of Representatives, the Senate, and Donald Trump to urge the government to increase the production of PPE supplies. It also calls for the hospital system to maintain the highest level of PPE standards and not the CDC recommendations that were introduced because of a shortage of supplies. This petition has received over 2 million signatures.

Give financial assistance to struggling nurses

Another way to help nurses is to provide financial assistance to those gravely affected by the pandemic and donating to response funds for nurses. You could also consider giving financial support to an individual nurse whom you know and might want to help. For example, as a gift, you could offer to pay a month or two of their student debt repayments. About 70% of all graduated nurses have student debt of between $40,000 and $54,000 when they complete their education, which takes them years to pay off.

Coronavirus Response Fund for Nurses
The American Nurses Association under the American Nurses Foundation has created a Coronavirus Response Fund for Nurses to which individuals and organizations can donate online. This special fund is being administered by Nurses House, a national fund for nurses in need. The Coronavirus Response Fund provides grants for nurses who are infected with or are under quarantine due to COVID-19; or are caring for an infected family member. Grants will be available up until the end of July, providing that the funds don’t run out before this.

Supporting GoFundMe campaigns

There are thousands of requests for donations towards various causes for nurses on GoFundMe. Check out the ones below or simply search for “nurses” on the site.

Feeding Frontline Workers of the COVID-19 Pandemic
A group in Greensboro, North Carolina, is asking for donations to feed frontline workers. They have raised $17,605 and have fed thousands of frontliners. If you donate, you’ll feed a nurse, get a tshirt, and have your name painted on their truck!

Helping Nurse Sylvia Leroy
There’s an appeal on behalf of nurse Sylvia Leroy of New York who was critically ill from COVID-19, delivered a premature daughter, then suffered a cardiac arrest which left her with a brain injury that will require costly long-term therapy. Sylvia’s family has been fighting early on to get her the best care possible, from transferring her to Mt. Sinai hospital and getting her into an acute rehabilitation center. Please help Sylvia get the care she needs to be there for her family. 

Support a Nurse Practitioner Fighting COVID
Edith Menchavez is a Cardiology Nurse Practitioner at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. A few weeks ago while working alongside all of us fighting this horrible disease Edith became ill.  She has been fighting the battle against Covid 19 for the last 3 weeks on a ventilator. She has also been started on dialysis. Her fight has been a long hard battle. Her road to recovery will be a long and difficult one.

Support a nurse’s mental health

There is increasing concern about the mental health of nurses serving on the front lines. The increased pressure at work, reports of violence and abuse from the public, and stigma attached to the healthcare staff are all taking a toll on their mental health—also, the fear of infecting their loved ones or being separated from them. As a friend or family member of a nurse, you can do the following to support their mental health:

  • Check in to see how they’re doing and to show you care.
  • Don’t discuss their work unless you sense that they want to unburden – and then you can serve as a listening ear.
  • Limit or don’t bring up your coronavirus questions and concerns – their life is already dominated by the virus.
  • Try to create a normal social dialogue – chat about everyday things, share a funny story or a joke to lighten their mood.
  • Arrange a video call on one of the many available channels. It’s closer to a face-to-face social encounter than phone calls and text messages.
  • If you sense that they’re unusually anxious or depressed, encourage them to seek professional help. Talkspace, a digital therapy site with licensed therapists, is currently offering one month of the free therapy for nurses and other front line workers. See more deals below.

Lighten a nurse’s everyday burdens

Longer hours, separation from loved ones, and an inability to fulfill everyday tasks due to lockdown and infection prevention regulations have turned many nurses’ daily lives upside down. Think about small tasks you can offer to do if you’re able to, for example:

  • Take the “what’s for dinner” out of their day by ordering a take-out delivery for them or cooking and dropping off a meal.
  • Offer to assist with child care – especially if the children usually are cared for by grandparents who are at greater risk if they should become infected by the virus.
  • Ask if you can do their shopping for them or run an errand for them.
  • They might be in a situation of looking after their parents, over and above their own families – for example, checking in on them, transporting them to the doctor or doing their shopping. Ask if you can take over this role for a while.
  • Offer to do the family laundry.

Don’t let your appreciation end with Nurses Week

The COVID-19 pandemic has served to highlight the pivotal role of nurses within the healthcare system. It has, however, also undeniably brought the long-standing issues within the profession to the surface – the shortage of nurses, the lack of proper staffing, violence against nurses, and the for-profit motive in the health care system, to name a few. Don’t let your appreciation of nurses die down together with the virus. Please continue supporting nurses by adding your voice to the profession’s calls for changes in health service delivery and legislation in the months and years to come. Thank you for making Nurses Week meaningful! 

Nurses Week Stories and Articles

Special articles for nurses during our week! Check out these nurses week articles:

Collection of the best gifts for nurses!

35+ Best Gift Ideas for Nurses
Unique gifting ideas and gift-hunting guide.

Ethel Gordon Fenwick: First Registered Nurse and Nurse Reformist

Ethel Gordon Fenwick: Nurse Reformist You Never Knew About
The ICN is celebrating it’s 120th anniversary this 2020 but do you know who created the organization?

8 Self-Care Ideas for Nurses

8 Self-Care Ideas to Celebrate Nurses Week!
Given the current circumstances, why don’t you use Nurses Week as a personal celebration to take a close look at whether you’re paying enough attention to looking after yourself.

Nurses Week Celebration Ideas

10 Ideas on How to Celebrate Nurses Week
Ideas on how busy nurses can cram in a few self-care during the nurses week.

6 Intriguing Nurses Week Facts You Probably Didn’t Know
Just how much do you know about Nurses Week?

7 Ways to Say Thank You to Your Everyday Hero
Expressing gratitude to our nurses!

80 Nurse Quotes to Inspire, Motivate, and Humor Nurses

80+ Nurse Quotes to Inspire You!
Inspiration and thoughts to live by.

11 Nursing Appreciation Quotes from World Leaders

11 Nursing Appreciation Quotes From World Leaders
Know what different world leaders think of nurses.

A Tribute to Hospice Nurses
Life of a nurse who sees death often is not easy, this is our thank you to them.

Tribute to Oncology Nurses

A Tribute to Oncology Nurses
A glimpse into the life of oncology nurses.

Emergency Nurses

A Tribute to Emergency Room Nurses
A letter of thanks and appreciation for ER nurses.

Mother Holding Newborn

A Tribute to L&D and NICU Nurses
A heartwarming letter of appreciation for our L&D and NICU nurses.

National Nurses Week: Why I Am Proud to Be a Nurse

VIDEO: Why I’m Proud to be A Nurse
A video showing how nurses are committed in delivering the highest standards of care.

VIDEO: Here’s to Nurses: A Tribute to the Profession
Not just anyone can be a nurse…

25 Best Kept Secrets of Nurses

25 Best-Kept Secrets of Nurses–Spilled!
Nurses spill the tea on what it’s like to be a nurse.

Resources for Nurses Week 2020

Here are some Nurses Week 2020 resources (posters, social media posts, etc) from around the web that you can use:

International Council of Nurses Toolkit
Celebrating International Nurses Day. The ICN released a resource toolkit for International Nurses Day 2020 to help spread the word about our great profession.

American Nurses Association: Nurses Month 2020
The ANA, for this 2020, has designated the whole month of May as Nurses Month with the theme of Nurses Make a Difference. ANA is also promoting weekly themes and activities with the month divided into four weekly focal points.

Nurses Month 2020

Canadian Nurses Association
The CNA is celebrating their National Nursing Week 2020 this May 11 to 17. Check out their website for their digital posters, celebration ideas, quotes, and social media images that you can use.

Canadian Nurses Association Nurses Week

Freebies, Discounts, and Promos for Nurses Week 2020

List of freebies, discounts, and promotions for Nurses Week 2020. Some promos may require email sign up or ID verification, always check additional info by following the link provided as deals may expire. If you are a business or an organization and have something special in store for nurses – join in the celebration and tell us about it. We’d be happy to have your promos posted here on our page!

Get 40% exclusive discount on purchases on their website for verified nurses, medical professionals, EMTs, and military members.

Free stays for frontline COVID-19 responders. Visit site for more details.

Get this Nurses Week discount by using code NURSESLABS for a 20% discount on all scrubs and lab coat lines!

Nurses Week Gifts

Amazon eBooks
Free nursing eBooks for your Kindle!

American Nurses Association
ANA is offering continuing education (CE) courses (2020 Navigate Nursing + National Nurses Month Webinar Bundle) free for ANA members.

Bearpaw is giving away 1,000 pairs of slippers to your chosen nominee.

BP/Amoco Gas
BP is offering a 50 cents off per gallon on a BP or Amoco fuel  to first responders, health care workers. Verification needed. Visit site for more info.

Care.com is providing one month of free, premium access to their site to support. They provide babysitting, house cleaning, and pet sitting.

During the duration of the Nurses Week (6-12), participating Cinnabon Bakeries will offer a free Cinnabon Classic Cinnamon Roll, MiniBon, or 4 BonBites when nurses show their healthcare ID badge.

Nurses and other healthcare workers get a free burrito starting on May 6.

Healthcare workers get a free pair of Crocs every day. Visit their site for more details as freebies are limited.

Dunkin’ Donuts
On May 6th, Dunkin’ is giving free medium hot or iced coffee and a free donut to all healthcare workers visiting participating branches.

Hilton Hotels and American Express
Hilton is offering 1 million rooms to healthcare workers for free! Offer until May 31st.

Krispy Kreme
Every Monday until May 11, healthcare workers get a free dozen. Just show your employee badge at any Krispy Kreme drive thru.

McDonald’s Nurses Week Freebie
From April 22 to May 5, McDonald’s is offering free Thank You meals to healthcare workers.

Qualified healthcare workers get a 20% discount through their online store.

NurseDeals.com is doing a giveaway for all of you amazing nurses.

The North Face
U.S. healthcare workers and frontliners are eligible for a 50% discount from April 14 to December 31.

Outback Steakhouse
First responders get 10% off their entire check all day, every day (with valid medical, state or federal service ID).

UniformAdvantage.com Nurses Week Sale
Get upto 30% off during the Nurses Week discount sale of UA.

Appreciating nurses this week, get a free coupon for a Snickers bar! Visit site to claim coupon and claim at Walmart.

Free coffee to first responders and health care workers. Offer until June 1.

Healthcare workers can get upto 30% off their mattresses, beddings, pillows, and more!

Any customer who identifies as a frontliner will get a tall brewed coffee for free until May 31!

OYO Hotels & Homes
Beginning March 24, medical first responders will receive free accommodations at any OYO Hotel in the United States so they can sleep, shower or just get off their feet and recharge.

A free month of therapy for health care workers and first responders. Work badge and Talkspace app needed. More info at the site.

Free laundry services to family of frontliners. Available in selected cities.

West Governors University
Free application during nurses week. Scholarships (valued at $2,500) are also available.

Social Media Resources for Nurses Week 2020

Here are logos and social media resources you can use and share for the the National Nurses Month 2020. Show your support and use them as your profile picture or share them on your social media accounts:

Proud to Be A Nurse: Nurses Week 2020
Social media banner and for profile picture. Download here.
Nurses Week 2020 Facebook Cover-2020
Facebook Cover. Download here.
For Instagram and Pinterest.
Matt Vera, a registered nurse since 2009, leverages his experiences as a former student struggling with complex nursing topics to help aspiring nurses as a full-time writer and editor for Nurseslabs, simplifying the learning process, breaking down complicated subjects, and finding innovative ways to assist students in reaching their full potential as future healthcare providers.

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