How to Celebrate Certified Nurses Day: Top Tips and Ways to Celebrate

Do you want to know how to celebrate Certified Nurses Day this year? Certified Nurses Day is the national day of recognition for all certified nurses everywhere. It honors the contribution that all certified nurses make towards the advancement of the nursing profession and better patient outcomes.

Just like physicians, nursing careers vary. Nurses can take certification exams in many different fields. The education is continuing, which is why it's so important to recognize nurses for their hard work.

Also, nurses and their families make many sacrifices for their patients, and they work the front line, which is dangerous during a pandemic like COVID-19. They risk their lives and give up time with their families to help others.

So, here's everything you need to know about Certified Nurses Day and tips and ways to celebrate it.

What is Certified Nurses Day?

Certified Nurses Day is March 19. The American Nurses Credentialing Center created this annual holiday in 2008 to recognize some of the world's most important healthcare providers, nurses who pass the certification exam.

Every year, healthcare leaders come together to celebrate the contribution of certified nurses to the advancement of higher standards and nursing professionalism. They chose this day because it was Dr. Margretta "Gretta" Madden Styles’ birthday. She was the global pioneer of nursing regulation.

She designed the first comprehensive study for nursing certification and continuously pushed for stricter credentialing standards. Dr. Styles drew broad awareness to the need for nursing regulations.

This holiday also invites all people with a career in nursing who aren't certified to do so. Nursing programs everywhere support ongoing training through education platforms.

Certified nurses must demonstrate a professional level of knowledge in their field and are considered clinical experts. Certified nurses commit themselves to a lifetime of learning as they must upkeep a certain level of knowledge in their specific area of expertise.

These certifications enhance their professional credibility and illustrate their overall level of competence.

The History of Certified Nurses and National Certified Nurses Day

Nursing goes all the way back to 50 A.D. when Paul referred to the first known nurse, Phoebe, in the Bible in the book of Romans. She was sent to Rome as a nurse, and over the next 100 years, many Christian nurses helped people with their excellent care and love.

Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing as we know it, was born in 1820.

In 1901, New Zealand passed the Nurses Registration Act, and the first nurse to become certified in the world was Ellen Dougherty.

In 1978, travel nursing began in New Orleans, Louisiana, because hospitals needed more nurses during Mardi Gras.

Tips for Celebrating Certified Nurses Day for Employers

Modern nursing has come a long way since Dr. Gretta Madden Styles first began her pioneering efforts. If you're wondering how to celebrate Certified Nurses Day, here are some tips for employers for celebrating the emergency nurses, nurses at doctor's offices, and everyone else in a nursing career.

1. Place signs and announcements throughout your facility.

Putting up signs and posters around the facility notifies people of the holiday, and let's take the time to thank a nurse.

2.  Send a press release to local newspapers and media outlets.

Sending a press release to the local media and newspapers lets the community know about the amazing holiday as many people don't know it even exists.

3. Give your certified nurses special bonuses, gifts, gift cards, or AACN gift certificates.

Celebrate your certified nurses by giving them a bonus, gifts, gift cards, or gift certificates. Giving these nurses a gift shows you value the hard work they do.

4. Create a public board or wall of distinction dedicated to all board-certified nurses in your facility.

A public board or wall of distinction publicly acknowledges your certified nurses and the value they bring to your medical facility.

5. Have a luncheon or buffet for all the certified nurses.

Just like an award or traditional holiday banquet, celebrating the things your nurses do every day lets them know they are a valuable asset.

6. Send every board-certified nurse at your facility or in your department a letter of appreciation.

Everyone loves to be appreciated for the hard work they do, so sending the certified nurses an appreciation letter will brighten their day and increase job satisfaction.

7. Give all the certified nurses buttons or ribbons to display on their uniform.

Just like the public board, giving your certified nurses buttons or ribbons to display is publicly acknowledging them for everything they do for patients and the facility.

8. Have nurses wear their certification pin. Let your certified nurses show their certification off.

A lot of hard work goes into studying for and taking a certification exam. They should be proud of their success.

9. Have a cake made celebrating certification and share it with everyone.

If you can't cater a banquet or lunch buffet, buy some cakes that celebrate certified nurses and share them with everyone.

10. Encourage the certified nurses at your facility to attend job fairs and inspire others to become certified nurses.

Many young people want to get into healthcare work because it's a rewarding career. Having certified nurses talk about their experience is a great way to encourage more people to start nursing careers.

11. Ask nurses for feedback

Celebrate the day by asking nurses for feedback on ways to improve patient satisfaction and everyday operations.

12. Create forums or web pages for nurses to share their stories.

If you're looking for a way to celebrate Certified Nurses Day virtually, making an online space for them to share their stories, like a live forum, is perfect. Then you can collect pictures or videos ahead of time that you can compile into a short video and share them on your website.

13. Hold a virtual awards ceremony.

Another great idea for celebrating National Certified Nurses Day virtually is hosting a virtual awards ceremony. Giving awards or other types of recognition are some of the most popular ways to celebrate the nursing career.

You can hold a live awards ceremony but make it virtual if you're leery of in-person gatherings. You could even host a virtual dinner with the leadership team and nurses to recognize their sacrifice. Have dinner delivered to the nurses' homes and make it a formal celebration.

How Do You Celebrate Certified Nurses Week?

Celebrating National Certified Nurses Day isn't just for employers and other healthcare workers. It's the perfect opportunity for family and friends to recognize all the hard work these nurses do, such as patient care and critical care.

Here are some great ways for anyone to celebrate this holiday.

1. Get Them Gift Certificates or Gift Cards

Gift cards or gift certificates make great present ideas for certified nurses, that way, they can choose a gift they need or want. At Gift Card Granny, you can buy a personalized Visa gift card with a nice greeting card.

2. Thank a Certified Nurse for Everything They Do

Board-certified nurses work hard, and sometimes it's a thankless job. Simply thanking a nurse for their work lets them know people recognize how difficult the job can be.

They often don't hear the words thank you enough.

3. Educate Yourself on the Certification Process for Nurses

Educating yourself about the certification process is a great way to honor certified nurses.

4. Encourage Someone with the Goal to Be a Certified Nurse

If you know someone striving to become a board-certified nurse, encourage them and offer support! The process of going through any professional certification can be long and hard, so your support means everything.

5. Consider Getting Your Own Certification

Is there a certification you've had your eye on? Even if it's not in the medical field, consider studying for and taking the test and then sharing it with a certified nursing friend or family member.

You can both appreciate how difficult getting a professional board certification can be and support each other.

6. Share a Social Media Post Thanking Certified Nurses

Create a social media post that thanks certified nurses and use the hashtag #CertifiedNursesDay. Public recognition of certified nurses everywhere is always a nice way to celebrate the holiday.

7. Buy a Gift for Your Favorite Certified Nurse

Of course, buying a gift is a great way to celebrate your favorite certified nurse. Positive Promotions has some great gifts for nurses like tote bags, water bottles, stainless steel tumblers, t-shirts, and more.

Jim Coleman LTD also has some neat gifts for certified nurses specifically, like pins, stickers, tote bags, tumblers, water bottles, shirts, and more.

Final Thoughts on Certified Nurses Day

National Certified Nurses Day is the holiday that certification boards, employers, other healthcare providers, and education facilities all publicly acknowledge and celebrate certified nurses everywhere.


It's nice that people inside and outside of the medical field now celebrate the specialty knowledge certified nurses have and the patient care they provide. So, don't forget to celebrate National Certified Nurses Day in one of the ways above.