Home > News Room > Events > National Nursing Week

National Nursing Week 2021

Theme: #WeAnswerTheCall

About National Nursing Week
Dates and theme
Ideas for commemorating
Celebrate nursing — inspirational messages from 2020
Contact Us

About National Nursing Week

The week draws attention to nurses, increasing the awareness of the public, policy-makers and governments of the many contributions of nursing to the well-being of Canadians.

In 1971, ICN designated May 12, the birthday of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale, as International Nurses Day. In 1985, CNA members passed a resolution to begin negotiations with the federal government to have the week containing May 12 proclaimed as National Nurses Week annually. Soon after, the federal minister of health proclaimed the second week of May as National Nurses Week. In 1993, the name was changed to National Nursing Week to emphasize the profession's accomplishments as a discipline.

2021 dates and theme

May 10-16, 2021: The National Nursing Week annual celebrations take place from the Monday to the Sunday of the same week as Florence Nightingale’s birthday, May 12.

The theme this year is #WeAnswerTheCall and was developed by CNA to showcase the many roles that nurses play in a patient’s health-care journey. The pandemic brought to light the courage and commitment that nurses work under every day and showed the important role that nurses play in the community.


“This global COVID-19 pandemic has shown the world the important role that nurses play in keeping people healthy across the lifespan”
Annette Kennedy, ICN president

Ideas for commemorating

  • Commemorate the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth by hosting a Zoom meeting to discuss her influence on nurses today.
  • On social media:
    • In all your posts, use #CNA2021 #WeAnswerTheCall #IKnowANurse #NationalNursingWeek #IND2021 #Nurses2021
    • Share pictures and stories that create awareness about National Nursing Week.
    • Showcase and describe the diversity of your role, your team and your working environments.
    • Use #IKnowANurse to share stories of exceptional nurses, because everyone knows a nurse who has left a lasting impression!
    • Follow CNA on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube
  • Be personal: write thank-you notes as a sign of your appreciation for all that your nursing staff does for patients daily. Such gestures have become increasingly rare, so this simple act of recognition can make a profound difference in employee morale.


We are preparing links to download CNA’s National Nursing Week digital posters and social media ads to help spread the word and create awareness for #WeAnswerTheCall.

Downloads will be made available soon so you can print and share the posters in various sizes.

Please note: printed posters will not be available for mailing.

Celebrate nursing — inspirational messages from 2020

We are delighted to present these special messages that acknowledge and thank nurses for their expertise, professionalism and dedication to keeping people healthy.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — Read the message [PDF, 236.5 KB] | Watch the video

CNA past president Claire Betker — Watch the video

Contact Us

For general inquiries, please contact reception@cna-aiic.ca.