Pediatric Nurses Week 2021: Date, History & How to Celebrate


Nurses are selfless individuals that follow the call to become someone’s hero. Pediatric nurses, in particular, are a special group of nurses caring for the most vulnerable group of individuals—children. Pediatric Nurses Week is a yearly celebration for nurses that choose to train in pediatrics.

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Pediatric nurses work in any medical setting, including hospitals, outpatient clinics, and schools. Most centers serve young individuals from birth until they turn 21. Not only do they care for children with compassion but worried parents too. Seeing your child, brother, sister, or other family members in the hospital can be scary.

Pediatric nurses gently guide you and your loved one through difficult times. Learn about the history behind Pediatric Nurses Week, some gift ideas, and how you can make the week special for the pediatric nurse in your life.

When is Pediatric Nurses Week This Year?

You can celebrate Pediatric Nurses Week (PNW) from October 4-8. It’s a relatively new celebration that was established by the Society of Pediatric Nurses (SPD). The year 2021 marks the 31st anniversary of raising awareness for the great work pediatric nurses do.

The mission of the SPD is to show families how pediatric nurses make a positive impact on healthcare and raise awareness for their services. Usually, PNW falls in the second week of October. Use the hashtag #ProudPediatricNurse to participate in contests and special activities. 

What is Pediatric Nurses Week?

Text about Pediatric Nurses Week with an image of a nurse

Nursing isn’t an easy job. Not only do nurses manage their own emotions but the myriad of patients’ feelings and needs. Pediatric nurses face a different challenge; they have to speak with children, pinpoint their pains, and manage fears. If you’ve had a young loved one in the hospital, then you know the challenges that can come with this career choice. Pediatric Nurses Week celebrates the nurses that specialize in this field no matter how challenging it is. 

Also, PNW promotes pediatric nursing. The demand for pediatric nurses continues to grow. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports a growth rate of 31 percent for advanced nurse practitioners (like pediatric nurses) versus 11 percent for other fields. 

As the need for nurses continues to grow, so does their trust rating. Nurses continuously rank as top trusted professionals. Pediatric nurses—especially—promote trust between families and the health care system. Pediatric nurses are important. PNW raises awareness about them to inspire the next generation. 


National Nurses Week was celebrated long before specializations like pediatrics became mainstream. Today, pediatric nurses across the United States celebrate both NNW and PNW. In the 1980s, pediatric leaders recognized a need for improved child care in nursing. As a result, they formed the Society of Pediatric Nurses. 

The SPD educates the public with research and awareness about nurse ethics and what pediatric nurses do. They started Pediatric Nurses week to recognize the difficulty and rewards in caring for young patients.

The SPD provides resources to make it easy for hospital staff and family and friends to celebrate their pediatric nurses. Below you’ll find a guide on gifts for the special nurse in your life and how SPD can help you celebrate. 

How to take part or celebrate

There’s no shortage of exciting ways to celebrate Pediatric Nurse Week. Whether you are a pediatric nurse, know a nurse, or want to celebrate the nurses in your community, there’s an activity for you. 

The SPD has useful resources to help you celebrate if you’re a pediatric nurse. You can order 25 buttons to share with your staff or an entire package of 100 for larger teams. The day won’t be complete without a banner to hang in the recognition of your co-workers.

Also, the SPD hosts a social media contest to win a celebration package for the next year. To win, post a picture with your fellow nurses and use the hashtag #ProudPediatricNurse on Facebook or Twitter. 

Patients can celebrate their favorite nurses, too. It’s best to reach out to your local hospital or physician office to find their plans. Typical activities include face painting, coloring, and scavenger hunts for patients. 

If you’re not a patient and want to celebrate, find a children’s hospital near you. You can raise awareness about the SPD’s resources. Educate your community primary care clinic or hospital about how easy it is to get involved. They can contact SPD directly for downloads, ideas, and celebratory swag.

Gift Ideas for Pediatric Nurses Week

Text about giving a gift for Pediatric Nurses Week with an image of nurses

As Laura Searcy—the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners president—writes: “Our children are unique and precious gifts of creation. We know that we are blessed and enriched by the opportunity to care for them and their families every day.”

Pediatric nurses care for young children without expectations. Surprise them with a gift. It’s a beautiful gesture to say thank you for dedicating their life to children’s’ health. 

Surprise with snacks 

Baked goods or snacks are a great gift idea. You can prepare a veggie tray with hummus, carrots, tomatoes, and celery that the entire team can enjoy. Consider preparing three trays or pans so each rotating shift can celebrate.

Gift a book 

It’s hard to unwind after a long day. Give your favorite pediatric nurse something they can keep on their bedside table.

Pediatric nurses continuously learn about their field. Take a look at our guide on healthcare books because gifting knowledge is a great way to say “thank you.” 

Get creative with a craft 

You’re busy but want to celebrate your favorite nurse. A mess-free easy craft can commemorate your child’s love for their nurse forever. Consider having your children make a DIY handprint keepsake to one nurse or the entire team.

If your child is old enough, they can make the salt dough with you. Not only will your pediatric nurse be happy, but your little one will learn the importance of giving back, too. 

Give a box

It’s not easy to be a pediatric nurse. Often nurses absorb the stress of the families and doctors they work with. After a long day, give them something that will last—a wooden box. They can keep cards from patients, families, and co-workers in the box and read them after a hard day. 

Keep it simple 

Gifts don’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Give a thank you card for your favorite nurse or even better the entire team. You can find free printables online.

For a custom touch, add a picture of your child, and if you’re a nurse, your co-workers. It’s a simple but big gesture of appreciation. 

Plan for Your Child’s Future 

No one plans for their child or another young family member to be sick. One way to celebrate pediatric nurses is to secure your child’s future.

Cake empowers you to start end-of-life planning. If you don’t know your end-of-life wishes, how can your children honor them? Pediatric nurses understand the importance of a child’s health. Take the first step to understand yours. 

Looking for more ways to honor a nurse in your life? Read our guide on National Nurses Week and Nurses Week ideas.


  1. Society of Pediatric Nurses,
  2. Brenan, Megan. “Nurses Again Outpace Other Professions for Honesty, Ethics.” Gallup, 20 December 2018.
  3. “Are You Considering a Career as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner?” American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 30 April 2019.
  4. Searcy, Laura. “President’s Message.” National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, 8 May 2017.

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