Amanda Anderson, formerly a graduate intern at AJN, is now a contributing editor
My first Nurses Week as a nurse, my mother sent me a card and a small gift. When I opened it, I was surprised by its message—no one had ever given me anything for Nurses Week during nursing school. I had no idea that the holiday even existed.
As an English Literature major–turned nursing student, I was pretty clueless about the world of nursing when I launched my career. I spent most of my first year fumbling around in the dark, looking for Florence’s light.
As years passed, I learned more about nursing, claimed it as my own, and became versed in the industry secrets. I started to take pride in Nurses Week, seeing it as a venue for speaking out about nursing.
One year, for the thirty days preceding the holiday, I wrote to Google about 30 living nurse legends, in hopes that they would post a nursing-themed Google Doodle for our week. On another, I penned (and never sent) a scathing letter to a hospital president who had sent a kitschy card I took offense to.