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Everyone knows an exceptional nurse – This National Nursing Week, help boost spirits with a virtual postcard

Nursing Week

National Nursing Week is celebrated annually across the country from the Monday to the Sunday of the same week as Florence Nightingale’s birthday, May 12.

The theme this year, developed by the Canadian Nurses’ Association (CNA), is #WeAnswerTheCall, a timely descriptor to highlight the many roles that nurses play in a patient (and family’s) health-care journey.

In this, our second National Nursing Week celebration in a global pandemic, we will be honouring the courage and commitment nurses bring to their work every day, and we are inviting the community’s participation, virtually.

“Our worlds, personal and professional, continue to experience unprecedented change and challenge as a result of this global pandemic,” said Susan Walsh, Vice President of Patient Services at NHH, and Chief Nurse Executive. "In my view, the 2021 Nursing Week theme could not be more appropriate. Nurses make up close to seventy percent of the NHH workforce. Every day nurses come to work and put on their personal protective equipment and walk into a patient’s room, they answer the call. Every time they interact with a patient, whether to hold their hand in a moment of crisis, hand them their newborn baby, or share a moment of sadness with a family member whose loved one has died, they answer the call.”  

Wave 3 has challenged the spirits of front-line care providers across Ontario. To recognize the important contribution of nurses who continue to “answer the call” throughout the hospital, and say thank you for all they do, NHH is inviting submissions of short, virtual postcards through our general NHH email in-box or our NHH and NHH Foundation social media channels, using the hashtag #IKnowANurse.

“Nurses hold many roles across our organization and in the community,” adds Susan Walsh. “The work nurses choose to do is not easy, yet day after day, they answer the call because they are committed to making a difference in the lives of people who need their skill, their support and their compassion-regardless of the risks the pandemic may present. This year has again demonstrated the collective impact of many souls choosing to answer—and keep answering—that call. Please help us to say thank you to an NHH nurse who made a difference in your life. The respect is deep, and very well deserved.”

Submit a virtual postcard honouring a nurse who made a difference in your life

Has an NHH nurse inspired you through:

Share your story, and we’ll add your message to an in-hospital display along the corridor leading to and from the staff entrance for the NHH team to see. Selected postcards will be shared more broadly throughout Nursing Week on our NHH and NHH Foundation social media channels and in a special feature story in our community newsletter In Touch the week of May 10.


Social media:  Share your virtual postcard directly with us on any of our social media channels, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram, using the hashtag “IKnowANurse (watch for this promotion and simply respond in the comments).

About National Nursing Week

International Nurses Day was designated on May 12, 1971, the birthday of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale. In 1985, CNA members passed a resolution to begin negotiations with the federal government to have the week containing May 12 proclaimed as National Nurses Week annually. Soon after, the federal ministry of health proclaimed the second week of May as National Nurses Week. In 1993 the name was changes to National Nursing Week—the designation it continues to carry today--to emphasize the profession’s accomplishments as a discipline.

View/download the news release pdf