Ideas for dates, history and celebrations

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You might remember your school nurse as the person who bandaged your knee when you fell on the playground as a kid or called your parents if you were too sick to stay in class. I think especially fondly of the school nurse at my college who let me take a nap on her cot when I had my first unamusing experience with cramps. And if you were a kid who needed daily medication or had a more serious health condition, the school nurse was a crucial part of your ability to get an education. As a parent, you may dread their calls – but you’re also grateful that someone is there when your child is just not well enough to learn, and National School Nurses Day is an opportune time to take a second to recognize how far along in the education system and put your appreciation into action.

The fact is, children get sick, and especially during the pandemic, schools need school nurses to keep them running. And Marketplace reported that during the pandemic, school nurses have tawake to much of the COVID mitigation and contact tracing work, which considerably increased their workload. Ssome even faced threats parents who resent them for enforcing public health rules. It’s an underpaid and often forgotten profession, and they almost always see people at their worst: they deal all day with sick children and parents who aren’t exactly happy to get their call. If anyone deserves a day to be truly appreciated, it’s him.

When is National School Nurses Day 2022

This year, National School Nurses Day takes place on Wednesday, May 11. It’s a busy time this year, with Mother’s Day coming a little early and the day coming right after Teacher Appreciation Week. But it makes it all the more important that these hardworking people are not left out of the celebration.

What is School Nurse History Appreciation Day?

School Nurses Day was created in 1974, when President Gerald Ford set aside a Wednesday in January to honor the contributions of these hard-working professionals. The day remained in January for several decades. In 2003, National School Nurses Day became a May holiday, celebrated during National Nurses Week (which this year is May 6-12). According to the National Association of School Nurses, the day was created to “foster a better understanding of the role of school nurses in the school environment.”

How to Celebrate National School Nurses Day

You can make a card, decorate the school nurse’s door, or post one of these adorable phrases on social media. Some cute things to say to your school nurse to show your appreciation include:

  • “Not all heroes wear capes, they wear ____” (Probably smocks, but maybe your school nurse has a different uniform!)
  • “Our children are healthier and safer because of you…thank you, [Nurse’s name]for all you do!
  • “Thank you for ‘staying’ to take care of us!” (with a card decorated with a box of bandages, or cut in the shape of a bandage!)
  • “We can’t ‘hide’ our appreciation for you!” (You can either draw a mask or give them an extra cute mask to wear if you go for this one!)
  • “You’re as cool as your ice packs!”
  • “Thank you for keeping me healthy so I can keep learning!” (signed by your child, of course)
  • “Thank you for keeping us together!” (again, you can use the Band-Aid theme if you make this one.)
  • “Thanks a latte for being an awesome school nurse!” (with a gift card in a café!)
  • “You always hit the mark” (with a Target gift card, because who doesn’t want that?)

The National Association of School Nurses also includes this pretty image for free download to caption your 2022 nurse appreciation posts: it says “bridging health care and education” which is a perfect description of what school nurses do.

thianchai sitthikongsak/Moment/Getty Images

The cards, gifts, and thank yous are amazing, but so are the resources needed to do their job well. If you can, ask your school nurse if she has secured enough funding to do her job and what challenges she faces. Advocate for your district to better fund this crucial profession and organize with other parents to make it happen. While the cards are wonderful, school nurses need more than that – there could be no better way to show your appreciation than to be part of the much needed change in how this profession is paid and treated.

No parent likes caring for sick children, and school nurses often only see children at their worst. However you choose to celebrate and recognize the school nurses in your life and the lives of your children, they are sure to appreciate it.

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