National Nurses Day 2020

Wednesday, May 6 Recognizing the important role nurses play in our lives

History of National Nurses Day¹

National Nurses Day is the first day of National Nursing Week, which concludes on May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Yet the week was first observed in the U.S. in October 1954 to mark the 100th anniversary of Nightingale’s pioneering work in Crimea.

In 1953, Dorothy Sutherland of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare sent a proposal to President Eisenhower asking him to proclaim a “Nurse Day” in October of the following year to coincide with the anniversary. Although the President didn’t act, the celebration was observed thanks to a bill sponsored by Representative Frances P. Bolton, and the following year a new bill was introduced to Congress lobbying for official recognition of the celebration.

Twenty years later, in February of 1974, President Nixon proclaimed a National Nurse Week to be celebrated annually in May. Over the next eight years, various nursing organizations including the American Nurses Association (ANA) rallied to support calls for a “National Recognition Day for Nurses” on May 6, which was eventually proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1982.


Practical Nursing at DCTC

The Practical Nursing program at Dakota County Technical College equips graduates with the knowledge and skill set to administer safe, ethical, patient-centered nursing care in traditional and alternative health care settings. The Practical Nurse (PN) role within the nursing process is taught through classroom learning, simulated client care, and instructor-supervised clinical experiences in healthcare settings.

Employment in this field typically requires successful completion of the NCLEX-PN licensing exam.


The mission of the DCTC Practical Nursing program is to provide a program of theory and practice in a supportive environment in which students will develop knowledge, skills and behavior essential for success as a licensed practical nurse.


The DCTC Practical Nursing program believes that practical nursing is grounded in the biological, psychological, sociological, and spiritual sciences practiced under the supervision of a registered nurse or other qualified health care professional. Nursing is devoted to promoting, maintaining, and restoring the health of individuals as well as promoting a peaceful, dignified death.

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) care for diverse individuals across the lifespan in a variety of inpatient and community based settings by providing safe, culturally sensitive, individualized patient/relationship centered care and by participating as a member of the health care team.

LPNs recognize that teamwork and interprofessional collaboration among healthcare professionals is critical to delivering safe, quality patient care. Ongoing quality improvement activities are performed in concert with other members of the healthcare team. Implementing established evidence based care, skills in informatics, and patient care technology is essential to the delivery of quality, safe, patient-centered care.

Professional values guide interactions with individuals, families and the health care team. LPNs demonstrate professional behaviors by exhibiting accountability for their actions, meeting the health care needs of patients, and assuming legal responsibility for the care they provide. LPNs demonstrate professional identity by upholding their commitment to the public and by adhering to an established code of ethics.

The major roles of the LPN includes providing nursing care and participating as a member of the nursing profession. As providers of care, LPNs contribute to the promotion of wellness; use nursing judgment in the identification of current and emerging patient problems and function as advocates for individual patients.

In addition, LPNs manage care of the individual patient through the use of established protocols and evidence based care incorporating the nursing process and caring as essential tools. LPNs work ithin an established plan of care to assign other LPNs and assign and monitor unlicensed assistive personnel tasks/activities to provide safe, quality patient care. LPNs provide healthcare information and reinforce education provided by other members of the healthcare team to achieve positive clinical outcomes.

Program Approval

The program is approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing. Graduates are eligible to apply to take the licensing examination administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.


The DCTC Practical Nursing program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (CNEA).


20 Ways to Support Nurses & Healthcare Workers on the Front Lines of COVID-19

by Chaunie Brusie •

Nurses and other healthcare professionals need your help now more than ever.

If you’re at home reading this and your biggest worry is perhaps running out snacks or ahem, toilet paper, you’re definitely among some of the lucky ones in the country right now. Nurses everywhere are heading directly into the places that everyone else is trying to avoid — hospitals, urgent care facilities, and medical offices teeming with people who need care related to COVID-19.

Nursing students, too, especially those on the verge of graduation this spring, have had their lives completely upheaved. Some are turning to learn critical skills via virtual labs, some are praying they will still be able to graduate, and some are facing fears they may have been exposed to COVID-19 while in their clinical rotations.

With public health experts saying that the impacts of the virus are nowhere near slowing down yet, it’s more important than ever to support healthcare workers working on the front lines of COVID-19. Here are some ways that you can #SupportHealthcareHeroes and make a difference in the battle against COVID-19.

  1. Tell congress to increase protective equipment for nurses, now. According to the American Nurses Association, nurses are being forced to take such drastic measures as reusing masks or making their own from available materials in their facilities – creating unsafe conditions for both nurses and their patients. This is unacceptable, RNs continue to work on the frontlines of this outbreak and should have the equipment needed to safely do their job. Tell your senator here.
  2. Give nurses a social-media shoutout. Sometimes just being seen can go a long way in helping bolster someone’s spirits. Knowing you recognize their sacrifice and care enough to thank them could give an exhausted nurse in your life the strength to face another shift. Go here to download your photo and share it on social media.
Seventeen ways to go: READ MORE…

Learn more about the Practical Nursing program at DCTC by contacting:

Renee LeMieux
Director of Nursing/Faculty

¹ Courtesy of National Nurses Day