The work that nurses and other healthcare professionals do on a daily basis is incredible. They ensure that patients receive the life-saving care they deserve and even help people at the end of their lives — they stop just short of end-of-life planning.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What’s the Date of National Nurse Practitioner Week?
- How is National Nurse Practitioner Week Celebrated?
- National Nurse Practitioner Week Gift Ideas
- Activity Ideas to Appreciate or Celebrate National Nurse Practitioner Week
Both National Nurse Practitioner Week and National Nurses Day offer you an opportunity to thank your favorite nurse practitioner. We’ve put together a guide so you know the history of National Nurse Practitioner Week and how to observe it.
What’s the Date of National Nurse Practitioner Week?
You can celebrate National Nurse Practitioner Week during the second full week of November. Don’t confuse it with National Nurses Week, which runs from May 6 –12 each year. In 2021, National Nurse Practitioner Week starts on Sunday, Nov. 7 and runs through Saturday, Nov. 13.
How is National Nurse Practitioner Week Celebrated?
National Nurse Practitioner Week recognizes nurses in the U.S. and emphasizes governmental and legislative backing for nurses, according to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).
One of the key goals of NP chapters across the nation is to get local and state government officials to highlight nurses’ abilities, achievements, and goals. These chapters also try to convince them to provide an opportunity for officials to formally lend support.
National Nurse Practitioner Week began in 2014 and has a similar intent as National Nurses Day and National Nurses Week.
It was created to highlight the selfless efforts and accomplishments of nurses and provide a formal timeline to discuss legislative matters or other opportunities for support.
How to participate
The goal should be the same, no matter how you choose to participate. Saying “thank you” doesn’t have to be elaborate or cost a fortune — it just requires some care and effort.
National Nurse Practitioner Week Gift Ideas
Gifts may not last forever, but genuine well-wishes and the intent behind them can. No matter what gift you decide to buy or create for nurse practitioners, it’s important to send a personal note of thanks as well.
A catered meal
Food is always a popular way to give thanks. Comfort food may seem like the best choice to offer nurses, but consider putting out a spread with healthy options or options for those with dietary restrictions.
You may choose to order breakfast, lunch, or a dinner buffet, but due to the odd nature of nurses’ schedules, it may not matter all that much. As long as the food is fresh and there’s plenty available, this is a great gift. Contact the reception or administrative staff if you’re unsure about a hospital or clinic’s food policies.
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Books or games
Every day can be emotionally and physically exhausting when you’re a nurse practitioner. Keep a team of nurses occupied or help them entertain patients by donating new healthcare books, caregiver books, or even an assortment of board games or card games.
Flowers or indoor plants
Choose an arrangement of flowers or outdoor plants for nurse practitioners. You may not have to be as picky choosing flowers for a funeral. Opting for bright flowers or plants that don’t require a ton of light or water may be the best choice, just in case window space isn’t available. Flowers and plants can work wonders for both mood and air quality — check to be sure that a particular wing of the hospital allows plants.
A coffee buffet
Consider buying a new coffee maker and supplies for the nurses’ break room or catering a coffee buffet throughout the day. Call ahead to prepare your order at a local coffee shop to customize treats or pastries.
Gift cards and a personal message
Sometimes cards, messages, and gift cards make the most sense. There’s a running stigma that gift cards are impersonal, but they don’t have to be.
If you want to personalize your gift a bit more, you can always include a handwritten thank-you note. You can even find out which stores, spas, or restaurants are preferred ahead of time.
Activity Ideas to Appreciate or Celebrate National Nurse Practitioner Week
Maybe you want to go the extra mile and help plan an activity to help nurse practitioners celebrate. This may make more sense for you if you work at a hospital or you’re able to coordinate with the administrative staff.
An indoor movie marathon
For an indoor movie marathon, you can also include able patients in the fun as well. Everyone can pitch in to build forts, pop popcorn, or choose from a variety of movies. This may take some coordination and planning for what space can be used or what time of day makes the most sense.
A mini field day
Temperatures may be a bit chilly in your area during November but you may still consider a mini field day if the weather permits. You could move the field day indoors if your facility has a large enough space. You can set up:
- Mini golf or putt-putt
- Bowling or four square
- Arts and crafts, such as painting or chalk stations
- Wastebasket basketball or ping-pong
- Balloon car races or paper airplane tosses
Cookie decorating or dessert bar
Everyone loves a sweet treat, so play into those sweet tooth preferences. Create a cookie decorating station or a dessert bar for an affordable, fun way to involve the entire team and even patients — if their health permits.
Consider putting together a fashion show using leftover hospital equipment or other creative supplies. You can also enlist patients as designers or curators.
This is a fun way to blow off steam and involve the entire group. It can even be a fundraising opportunity. For example, you might allow people to vote on social media for the best designs and donate online or in person.
Food truck rally
A food truck rally is a great way to support local businesses and give a team of nurses some dining options. It may be possible to open the event up to the public and channel some of the proceeds to benefit a hospital or clinic. This means you’d need to coordinate with the restaurant owners.
Make National Nurse Practitioner Week Count
Showing your gratitude and support for nurses doesn’t require a ton of money or planning. At the end of the day, the most meaningful part of your efforts is making the additional effort to say, “I see what you do. Thank you.”
- “National Nurse Practitioner Week.” American Association of Nurse Practitioners. 19 Nov. 2019. www.aanp.org/about/about-the-american-association-of-nurse-practitioners-aanp/media/np-week