National Emergency Nurses Week: Date, Activities & Gifts


Do you know an emergency nurse? Maybe one even helped save your life. If so, then you will be interested in learning more about National Emergency Nurses Week. 

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Emergency nurses provide help to countless people each year. Not only do they provide important medical help, they often provide people emotional support during a difficult time. Their work is so invaluable. To celebrate everything they do, National Emergency Nurses Week was created. 

It’s important to show appreciation to the people who provide quality care and service to every patient that comes into their office. And to recognize everything they sacrifice to do these jobs.

First, we’ll explain how this week of celebration came about. And then, we’ll share some ideas for gifts. There are a lot of little things we can all do to show our appreciation. 

When Is National Emergency Nurses Week?

National Emergency Nurses Week is from October 9-15. October 12, 2022 is Emergency Nurses Day. Mark your calendars so you are sure not to miss out on this special time of year. 

Keep in mind, the Emergency Nurses Day sometimes doesn’t fall within this week.

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What Is the National Emergency Nurses Week?

Text about National Emergency Nurses Week with an image of a nurse

National Emergency Nurses (NEN) Week is an extension of National Nurses Week. This day has been sponsored by the Emergency Nurses Association since 1989. This celebration was extended to NEN Week in 1991 by the American Nurses Association.

It gives people even more opportunities to celebrate the remarkable individuals that work as emergency nurses. 

How it started

There are over three million emergency room nurses around the world. It’s almost guaranteed that you’ll go to an emergency room at least once in your life. And the importance of this space, and the people who work there, cannot be ignored. 

While there is no official supported reason for National Emergency Nurses Week, it’s obvious that these people deserve our respect. They see it all—everything from minor scrapes and cuts to full cardiac arrest.

Their training and expertise help to save lives every day. That is why every year, this time is set aside to honor and remember everything they do.

How to celebrate NEN week

Celebrating NEN Week can take on a variety of forms. It may simply be saying "thank you" to the NEN in your life. Or, it may be getting a small gift for them. You might even plan a party in honor of these amazing people. It’s less about how you celebrate, and more about recognition. Emergency room nurses work hard to keep us healthy. Even small gestures can mean a lot. 

No matter how you decide to celebrate this year showing your gratitude is what matters. It’s important to shore appreciation for the people that show up and perform every day under difficult circumstances. 

Activities to Try for NEN Week

Text about thanking nurses with an image of a nurse

If you're searching for tips for how you can celebrate NEN Week, then you've come to the right place. Here are a few activities you may want to try. You never know what type of impact it may have on an EN. Big or small—activities like these can make all the difference! 

Simple thanks 

Celebrating NEN Week doesn't have to be loud or boisterous. It can be fairly simple. You may want to reach out directly to an EN you know, or even one that you don't, and thank them for all that they do.

You could also write a card to the team at your local hospital and send it to them. A simple thank you can go a long way in proving that their hard work doesn't go unnoticed or unappreciated. 

Social media shoutout 

Even if you don't know an EN nurse, you can still thank all those who work in the profession. You can do this by posting a nice message on social media. There are some relevant hashtags such as #ENWeek you can include. Your post might be a simple and general thanks.

Or you could thank a particular nurse that helped you or someone you love. This type of thanks has a much better chance of being seen by hundreds or thousands of people.

Ask your friends and family to participate, too. The more messages and posts the more awareness of this special week will spread. 

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Some hospitals have an opportunity for members of the community to volunteer. It’s unlikely you’ll be volunteering in the emergency room but you’ll still get an idea of what working in a hospital can be like.

If your local facility doesn't allow it, you can still give back to the community in other ways. Volunteer at a shelter or food bank. You can do this in recognition of all the emergency nurses who give so much to the community. While it may not lighten an EN’s load in any way, it gives you the opportunity to help others. 

Serve breakfast 

During NEN Week, do something that brightens their day. You can order donuts or other breakfast foods for them to enjoy during their shift. This small gesture can go a long way in showing just how much their work means to you. And everyone loves a delicious breakfast.

Before planning this type of event make sure you check with the department about the best way to pull it off. You’ll likely need to get permission to bring food on-site. 

Handmade pictures 

Personalized thank you gifts are always appreciated. Perhaps you or your child have an artistic flair. If so, consider making a picture for the nurse to hang up in their locker or office space.

This type of gift is touching.  And it makes the nurse feel valued by their patients and their community. 

Presents to Give for NEN Week

Gift-giving is always a great way to show your thanks for a job well done. While you don’t need to celebrate NEN Week with a gift, it is a kind gesture. After all, it shows just how much someone means to you. If you have a close relationship with an EN a small gift would be a nice thing to give them.

Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas to consider. 


Whether you want to gift caregiver books, healthcare books, or something non-work related, books are always a great gift to give. Consider the nurse's interests, too. That way, you’ll be able to give them something they’ll actually read. 


Nobody deserves to relax more than an emergency nurse. A gift certificate for a massage is an excellent way to show your appreciation. And it allows them to rest and relax.

If you’re a massage therapist, consider donating your time. You could organize to go to a local hospital to give massages to the nurses on staff. Someone working a stressful job would appreciate even a short massage.  

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Baked goods 

Cookies, cakes, and other treats are always appreciated. Consider any food allergies when preparing baked goods.

You can choose to give baked goods to a single nurse, or perhaps create a dessert tray for an entire shift to enjoy. 


Totes are always appreciated by professionals who have to carry a lot of supplies. Nurses often have to take their lunch, water bottles, and other supplies with them for their shift.

Give a tote that expresses your thanks by customizing it to suit their personality. 


Nurses aren’t allowed to wear too much with their uniforms. But, they can add pins to their name badges. Consider giving the gift of a personalized pin.

A pin that showcases one of their interests outside of work would be a considerate gift. 


Nurses always need to be able to keep time. Taking blood pressure and many other medical procedures require counting seconds.

Consider the variety of watches in the market and choose one that may be the most useful for them. You may want to consider a watch that has other features, such as heart rate monitoring. 

You Don't Have to Wait for NEN Week

Do you know an emergency nurse that helped you or someone you love? You likely do. You don't have to wait for a certain week of the year to celebrate these amazing people.

Remember to thank an emergency room nurse every chance that you get. They deserve our gratitude for all that they do to keep us safe and healthy! 

If you're looking for more days dedicated to health care, read our guides on National Healthcare Decisions Day and National Physician Assistant Week.

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