why we celebrate nurses week

Why We Celebrate Nurses Week

by Emmy Drouillard

Going Beyond the Clinical

As General Manager of a travel nursing company, I am constantly asked to explain the logistics of travel nursing by those unfamiliar with our industry. Repeatedly answering questions such as “Why does our medical system depend on such a complex network of contract staff?” or “What is a hospital census and how does it determine staffing needs?” means that I am almost always looking at the nursing industry from a business perspective, instead of from a human perspective. 

So when I was asked to write about Nurses Week, my initial draft was very clinical. Of course we recognize Nurses Week every year from May 6 to May 12 to acknowledge the field of nursing, and in honor of Florence Nightingale’s birthday and her contributions to the profession, etc, etc. But why should we celebrate nurses? Why is it important to dedicate an entire week in appreciation and recognition for nurses and the work they do?


A Personal Story

In December of 2021, my cousin Joelle stopped by our house to deliver Christmas gifts. She wasn’t feeling great. She did not come inside, just left the presents on the porch because she didn’t want us to catch her cold. Less than a week later, she was in the ICU, on a ventilator, in critical condition with COVID-19. Joelle was in the hospital for over a month-and-a-half, three weeks of that on a ventilator. She was weaned off the ventilator on January 19th, moved out of ICU on January 21st, and spent the next three weeks in a recovery/rehab room. 

And who was by her side through that entire harrowing ordeal? Not her family; due to COVID regulations she was not allowed visitors. No, the people beside her bed, feeding her, keeping her bathed and clean, helping her learn to breathe and to walk again, holding her when she cried—those were her nurses. My cousin was lucky enough to come home, but there are so many others who weren’t. The same nurses were by their sides, holding their hands as they took their final breaths, or holding up iPads so their families could say goodbye.

My cousin would not give a clinical answer if you ask her why we should celebrate Nurses Week. She would say without reservation that it’s because they helped save her life. That they are guardian angels and miracle workers all rolled into one. That every single extraordinary nurse who was by her side as she fought for her life deserves every bit of recognition, celebration, gratitude, kudos, respect and appreciation that there is to give.


The Nurses We Celebrate

At Emerald Health Services, we celebrate Nurses Week for Joelle, and for the countless other patients whose lives have been touched by the caring hand of a nurse. 

We celebrate the nurses who work tirelessly to ease the pain of their patient’s passing. 

We celebrate nurses who cry alongside grieving families. 

We celebrate nurses who sacrifice time at home with their own family to take care of other people’s children. 

We celebrate nurses who dance with joy right alongside their patients who recover against all odds. 

We celebrate nurses because they deserve to be celebrated!

Please join us for Nurses Week May 6 – 12. We are honoring our nurses with gifts, events, giveaways and more! Let’s celebrate!


About the Author:

emmy drouillardEmmy Drouillard, General Manager of Emerald Health Services’ Travel Nursing Division, has studied the ins and outs of travel nursing for five years. She is passionate about creating space for recruiter-traveler relationships to grow and thrive. She’s married to her high-school sweetheart, and is a proud mom to two teenagers, two cats, and 37 travel nurse recruiters.


emerald nurses week event