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Nurses Month


National Nurses Week typically begins each year on May 6th and ends on May 12th, Florence Nightingale's birthday. These permanent dates enhance planning and position National Nurses Week as an established recognition event. As of 1998, May 8 was designated as National Student Nurses Day, to be celebrated annually. And as of 2003, National School Nurse Day is celebrated on the Wednesday within National Nurses Week (May 6-12) each year.

Honoring our nation’s nurse heroes is more profoundly significant than the American Nurses Association (ANA) anticipated when they extended the traditional National Nurses Week to a month of recognition in May. The global COVID-19 pandemic quickly shifted the focus from the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, but now more than ever we must support and recognize nurses who work with courage and compassion and under extremely challenging circumstances.

Whether it is a national health emergency or routine daily care, nurses’ vital contributions impact the health and well-being of our communities, which is why ANA selected the theme for May as Nurses Make a Difference. To honor nurses and support the nursing profession, ANA will promote weekly themes and activities. While continued physical distancing may limit  face-to-face activities, ANA encourages everyone to think of creative ways to virtually engage.

               VNA President Linda Shepherd Kicks off Nurses Month!


Read VNA president's Nurses Month kick off letter here!

Honor a Nurse

If there is a nurse (or nurses!) you’d like to publicly honor during Nurses Month, you can fill out the Virginia Nurses Foundation’s Honor a Nurse form here! This is the perfect opportunity to celebrate a nurse friend, colleague, or family member or to say thank you to a nurse that has made a difference.

We will publish the names of honored nurses on our website on the Honor a Nurse Tribute Wall and in our quarterly publication, Virginia Nurses Today. Additionally, all honorees will receive an email letting them know you wanted to say thank you. Your donation of $10 or more will support the launch of the Nurse Leadership Academy. For check donations, click here to download the form to be mailed with your check.


Nurses Month Resources

Discounts & Gifts for Nurses 

  • VNA Nurses Month 2020 Discount Guide

  • Nurses Week 2020: When It Is, and 15 Best Nurses Week Discounts, Deals and Freebies

  • Salt & Forge donating 1,400 biscuits to celebrate National Nurses Week
    Salt & Forge, a popular Richmond-based breakfast and lunch spot, is known for its delicious sandwiches and biscuits — and now they’re in the spotlight for their service to the community. The team created the “Give a Biscuit” project to recognize National Nurses Week, which will be held on May 6th through 12th. Salt & Forge made a commitment to serve as least 1,400 biscuits to employees of emergency rooms, ICU’s and recovery units at all hospitals in our area. As a result of their efforts, they have been able to keep the entire Salt & Forge team employed.

  • Great Wolf Lodge to Donate 10,000 Rooms to Frontline Health Workers
    In honor of Nurses Month in May, and as part of its ongoing commitment to the community, Great Wolf Lodge is encouraging fans of its indoor waterpark resort to join in showing support and gratitude to the selfless nurses confronting the COVID-19 outbreak through its “Nights for Nurses” campaign.  For every room booked from May 4-12, 2020 with the code THANKYOU, Great Wolf Lodge will donate a free overnight stay to a registered nurse so they can enjoy some much deserved quality time with their families.  With support from the American Nurses Association (ANA), Great Wolf Lodge plans to distribute up to 10,000 overnight stays as part of this effort.

  • Support Nurses Today Fund
    With a gift to the American Nurses Foundation, you are helping to create a healthy world through the power of nursing!

  • Hospitality Industry United for “Buy One, Give One” Campaign to Jumpstart Travel, Support Hotels and Provide Thank You to Healthcare Workers
    Available at through June 30, the initiative incentivizes consumers to purchase future travel now with special offers ranging from discounted stays to gift cards to loyalty points for redemption prior to travel. In return, participating hospitality brands/hotels will donate room nights, gift cards, or loyalty points to organizations, including the American Nurses Association and NewYork-Presbyterian, among others of their choice, to distribute to medical professionals who can use them toward future leisure stays.

  • 22 perfect gifts to show your appreciation to nurses and healthcare workers
    Whether you're a patient, a family member of a patient, or you know a nurse personally, there's no better time to show your appreciation for the work that they do than now. 

  • National Nurses Week: Freebies and discounts for health care workers May 6 -12
    To show appreciation to first responders, restaurant and other store offers range from free meals to free shoes. Many of the deals were already in effect before National Nurses Week, and require a valid form of ID. 

  • Dealhack Nurse and Healthcare Professionals Discount Guide
    The Dealhack Nurse and Healthcare Professionals Discount Guide is the result of our quarterly survey of brands that offer exclusive freebies and discounts to active duty nurses and other healthcare professionals. These hardworking health workers serve as our frontliners in the fight against COVID-19, and we are always thankful for their efforts. The list is broken down into 14 categories and serves as the ultimate reference guide discounts for healthcare professionals. Every three months, we independently verify each and every store on this list to keep you updated. You can also save or print this guide in PDF form so you can use it access it anytime from your phone or computer.

  • Nurses Week Freebies for 2020: Where to Get Free Food and Discounts
    National Nurses Week takes place May 6 to 12. These are all the restaurants, retailers and other companies offering free stuff for nurses, as a thank-you for all their hard work.

  • National Nurses Week 2020 - Freebies, Prizes, and Discounts
    We have compiled a big list of Nurses Week Freebies & Discounts for you. Please share this list with your nurse friends so they can also enjoy all the perks.

  • Coronavirus Response Fund for Nurses
    Nurses are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response. ANA created a Coronavirus Response Fund for Nurses to enable the public to support and thank nurses.

  • Mental Health Help for Nurses
    Visit VNA's page on mental health help for nurses to find resources for addressing PTSD, anxiety, depression, and more.

To Those Who Feel by Laura Pole

Those Who Feel  is a song Laura wrote for her oncology nursing colleagues back in the 1990's, after a particularly difficult holiday season when we lost 25 patients on our unit just before Christmas. Now, so many nurses who feel deeply and care compassionately may be the only ones to hold the hands of those with COVID-19 and witnessing as their last breath is gone. Laura gives this song to all nurses in the world as we mark this International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.

Laura Pole is an Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist, a health supportive chef and a musician [Chefnurcian] who has been caring for people with serious illness for 40 years. She has worked in the acute, long-term, palliative  and hospice care settings. She served as the End of Life Care Educator for  Virginia Association of Hospice and Palliative Care before becoming the Virginia POST Paradigm Advance Care Planning Coordinator and Educator. Now Laura works as a consultant,  educator and researcher for 2 non-profit organizations who provide integrative oncology services and support programs. She is also head chef for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts' residential retreats for people with cancer. In tandem with Laura's nursing career, her musical trio, Trifolkal, has been providing informances for professional caregivers on the human art of healing. Laura believes that we all come with gifts that help us heal ourselves and others.  Her deep wish for you is that your healing gifts and the healing gifts that others share with you will take you through this very difficult time and find you emerging whole and profoundly changed for the good. You may get copies of Laura's music at or email her at

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