North Alabama Medical Center is proud to join the American Nurses Association (ANA) in celebrating
National Nurses Week, May 6-12. Each May, National Nurses Week honors the men and women around
the country who have dedicated their lives to caring for those who are at their most vulnerable and in need.
The contributions they make to the health and well-being of patients is an essential part of the hospital’s
mission of Making Communities Healthier.
“Our heroic nurses are always on the front lines of caring for the sick and injured,” said Merita Burney,
Chief Nursing Officer. “Their compassion, clinical expertise and servant leadership are fundamental to our
ability to provide the high-quality care our patients have come to rely on. I am so proud to celebrate and
honor their hard work – and not just during Nurses Week, but year-round.”
The roots of National Nurses Week can be traced back to 1953, when U.S. Department of Health,
Education and Welfare employee Dorothy Sutherland suggested a national day of recognition for nurses.
After a series of proclamations and resolutions through the decades, the American Nurses Association
affirmed a joint resolution of the U.S. Congress by establishing May 6 as National Nurses Day in 1982. The
ANA expanded the celebration to a week in 1991 and, in 1993, designated May 6-12 as the permanent
annual dates to mark National Nurses Week.
Now, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared 2020 as the Year of the Nurse. It is a well-
deserved recognition for a group of professionals that could not have come at a more appropriate time.
“By their very nature, nurses are special people who are committed to selflessly serving and caring for others
no matter the circumstance,” Burney says. “During our fight against COVID-19, our nurses have truly
stepped up and are making countless sacrifices daily to ensure the safety of patients and each other, and to
help protect our community. They are heroes in every sense of the word.”
This year, community members are encouraged to leave their own special note of thanks at