Penn Highlands Healthcare Celebrates National Nurses Week

Penn Highlands Healthcare is celebrating National Nurses Week, May 6-12, 2023 at its hospitals, outpatient facilities and physician offices.

“Penn Highlands Healthcare nurses make a difference in the lives of everyone they touch,” explained Heather Franci, MBHA, BSN, RN, Penn Highlands Healthcare Chief Nursing Officer and Service Line Director, Heart Center, Lung Center, Brain & Spine, Oncology Services. “During every shift, they are more than caregivers — they are advocates, teachers, critical thinkers, counselors and innovators – all while giving unwavering emotional support. At Penn Highlands, we employ some of the best nurses in Pennsylvania and our patients and their families truly benefit from their high level of care and compassion.”

National Nurses Week dates back to 1953 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower was asked to proclaim a day to honor nurses. The following year, which marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, Nurses Week was observed in October. For the next 20 years, various House Bills were submitted to recognize nurses which never passed. In February 1974, President Richard M. Nixon issued a proclamation designating a week to honor nurses. Eight years later, President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation to recognize May 6, 1982 as National Nurses Day. In 1990, the American Nurses Association expanded the recognition of nurses to May 6-12, and declared the weeklong celebration “National Nurses Week.” In 1993, the ANA designated May 6-12 as permanent dates to observe National Nurses Week.

Throughout the week, special activities are planned at each of the eight Penn Highlands Healthcare hospitals in Northwestern/Central and Southwestern Pennsylvania to recognize nurses.

If you receive care from a nurse during National Nurses Week, please be sure to thank them for their untiring dedication to your health and wellness.