Certified Nurses Day
annually on March 19th (since 2008)
Created by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, Certified Nurses Day is "an annual day of recognition for and by healthcare leaders dedicated to nursing professionalism, excellence, recognition, and service." It honors nurses around the world who have gotten national board certification in their specialty, and invites nurses who are not certified to advance their career by becoming certified. On the day, "employers, certification boards, education facilities, and healthcare providers celebrate and publicly acknowledge nurses who earn and maintain the highest credentials in their specialty."
Certified Nurses Day takes place on March 19 because that is the birthday of Dr. Margretta "Gretta" Madden Styles, who was a leader in the field of nursing certification. Styles saw the value of nursing certification before there was widespread awareness of its value. In the 1970s, she was behind the first large study of nursing credentialing. Following this, she developed and implemented standards and credentials for nurses. In the 1980s, she was behind the work of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) on nursing regulation.
How to Observe Certified Nurses Day
Celebrate the day by working to "garner visibility and gratitude for the certified nurses in your workplace and community." Employees can provide public recognition for nurses among colleagues and patients. Some ideas on how to do so include issuing a press release, creating a "nursing honor roll" that lists certified nurses and sharing it in public spaces and with publications, sending letters of appreciation to certified nurses, providing a luncheon for certified nurses, and inviting certified nurses to organize a certification drive at your facility.
Certified nurses can provide public service to colleagues and patients. Some ideas on how to do so include giving education presentations about their speciality, organizing a fundraiser, organizing a mentoring program where nurses can share about the value of certification, educational opportunities, career planning, and other related issues, and alerting the media in their community about the day. More information on how to celebrate can be found in the "Plan Your Celebration Toolkit" on the day's website.