Let’s celebrate emergency nurses everywhere

October 13, 2020 Providence Body & Mind Team

October celebrates Emergency Nurses Week

  • Emergency nurses have been on the frontlines during a challenging year.
  • Follow these tips for recognizing the emergency nurses in your life.
  • It’s also the Year of the Nurse — let’s celebrate them all!


Emergency nurses play the role of detective —uncovering clues about a patient’s illness or injury, thinking fast on their feet and providing a reassuring smile when it’s needed most. This year, emergency nurses are on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic with selfless devotion to safe care for the ill and injured, which makes Emergency Nurses Week (Oct. 11-17), and Emergency Nurses Day especially important.

Since 1989, the second Wednesday in October has been designated Emergency Nurses Day, when ER nurses are honored for their commitment to patient care. In 2001, the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) designated a whole week to celebrating emergency nurses for all of their contributions. The ENA encourages communities everywhere to acknowledge the emergency nurses among them.

Emergency nurses wear hundreds of hats every day as they’re frequently called upon to help saves lives and address health emergencies both large and small. Working in an emergency room means assisting car accident victims, heart attack patients, more recently COVID-19 patients and so much more.

This year has seen some grim milestones, so it’s always good to celebrate an inspiring one. All nurses — from emergency nurses to surgical nurses — around the world are being celebrated for a very important milestone.

Emergency nurses put in long hours in a fast-paced environment and need to use their problem-solving skills at the drop of a hat. They provide essential care when we need it most.

Tips for recognizing emergency nurses

The ENA offers several ideas to celebrate Emergency Nurses Day/Week, even in the midst of the pandemic. Here are some of thought-starters to add to your own creative approaches.

  • Host a virtual educational program. Ask your company if you can set aside time to have a guest speaker for a webinar to discuss another key aspect of Emergency Nurses Week – injury prevention. It’s an important way to recognize emergency nurses while helping everyone!
  • Treat-a-Day Week. Safely provide emergency nursing staff with different treats each day during this celebration week.
  • Host a meal. Ask local vendors to provide or underwrite a delivery meal for emergency nurses. Or, ask restaurants to safely distribute coupons for a free meal or treat.
  • Create a festive environment. The emergency nurse in your life deserves decorations! Make or buy a banner and or have balloons delivered to festoon the local hospital’s nurses’ station in honor of the event.
  • Support the entire profession. Donate a gift to the ENA Foundation to help emergency nurses return to school to earn advanced degrees or perform research.
  • See the movie. On October 14, the film “In Case of Emergency” will hold its world premiere, as it shines a spotlight on emergency nurses and the work they do. As described by ENA, the film “[Follows] 16 emergency nurses from across the United States to paint a startling picture of emergency departments stretched to the breaking point as our nation's biggest public health challenges — from COVID-19 to the opioid crisis to gun violence to lack of insurance — collide in emergency departments. With nearly half of all U.S. medical care delivered in EDs, emergency nurses are at the forefront, not just during a pandemic, but every day to address a patient's physical and emotional needs.”

"In Case of Emergency" debuts to a nationwide audience as part of a virtual event that also includes a live question-and-answer session.

Celebrating all nurses, all over the world

This year has seen some grim milestones, so it’s always good to celebrate an inspiring one. All nurses — from emergency nurses to surgical nurses — around the world are being celebrated for a very important milestone. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. The year-long event honors the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birthday.

In a related celebration, three organizations in the U.S. are celebrating the Year of the Nurse. The goal is to promote nursing excellence, foster innovation and instill leadership by engaging with nurses, thought leaders and communities.

Every day of the year, emergency nurses deserve our thanks

People who are experiencing trauma rely on emergency nurses to stabilize their vitals and make sure their pain is under control. At a time when a calming presence is a precious commodity, emergency nurses deliver in abundance.

For all that and so much more, we thank them.

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Do you have your own tips for honoring emergency nurses? Would you like to share why all nurses are important to you? We’d love to hear from you. #nurse #emergency @providence

Related Resources

Emergency Nurses Week

Emergency Nurses Association

Providence physician shares insights on ER safety during crisis

The ER … or Urgent Care?

Healthcare worker burnout & self-care

In Case of Emergency

World Health Organization

International Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

Celebrate the Year of the Nurse on Nurse’s Day

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

About the Author

The Providence Body & Mind Team is dedicated to providing medically-sound, data-backed insights and advice on how to reach and maintain your optimal health through a mixture of exercise, mindfulness, preventative care and healthy living in general.

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