Hector Osorio 03 May 2020

National Hospital Week aims to recognize and celebrate hospitals, health systems and the people who work at them.

Hospital week in the US will be held between May 10 - May 16. It is also International Nurses Day on May 12. During the current COVID 19 pandemic has made us remember the importance of having a strong and efficient healthcare system in place to take care of our loved ones [1]. 

In this article we will discuss the origins of this annual event and how to best support your local healthcare system.

Both International Nurses Day and Hospital Week was made to always coincide with Florence Nightingale’s birthday (May 12) which is meant to commemorate her contributions to nursing and healthcare in general, because of this we will provide a brief summary of her life and achievements [2].

Florence Nightingale was part of a wealthy family, which made notable her decision to become a nurse. Her greatest trial as a professional was at a British base hospital during the Crimean war, where the sanitary conditions were extremely poor and put injured soldiers at a greater risk of death. It was there where she demonstrated her extraordinary skills by making dramatic changes to sanitary conditions that caused the mortality rate of the hospital to drop from 40% to 2%. Her efforts during the war would eventually earn her praise, fame and the recognition from Queen Victoria [3].

Later in her life, she invested her money in creating the St. Thomas’ Hospital and the Nightingale Training School for Nurses, also, based on her experiences she published “Notes on Matters Affecting the Health, Efficiency and Hospital Administration of the British Army”, an extensive report which proposed a great number of reforms for the healthcare system of the time. Some of her most important contributions helped make hospitals much safer places by improving ventilation, drainage, managing overcrowding and changing the way hospitals were designed. Her contributions to the education of the next generation of nurses was invaluable. She raised the standard for healthcare providers and promoted the role of a nurse as a highly skilled professional directly involved in the patient’s care, before that, nurses could only participate in mundane tasks and were not formally trained to do anything else in that context [3,4].    

In 1921 the National Hospital Day was established on her birthday to later (1953) be extended to a weeklong event meant to celebrate all aspects of the healthcare system but especially the people that sustain and improve it each day [2].

During this period in the history of global health, let's reflect on the importance of having the right people in the right place, brave, dedicated and well-trained professionals with not only the skills to perform their job correctly, but also the intelligence and imagination to adapt to every new challenge and make their own contributions to the quality of our care.

Right now, the best you can do for hospitals and frontline workers  is to respect social distancing, wash your hands regularly, maintain hygienic conditions at home and wear masks when in closed crowded places [5].

To search for the best healthcare providers worldwide, please use the Mya Care search engine.

About the Author:
Hector Osorio is a cell biologist, research assistant and science/health content writer. He loves complex topics related to life sciences like cancer, viral infections and aging. He graduated from Central University of Venezuela Faculty of Sciences and worked as a research assistant for the Center of Experimental Medicine of the Venezuelan Center for Scientific Research (IVIC) for 5 years.


  • [1] Gooch, K. (2019, May 15). It's national hospital week: 6 things to know. Retrieved from
  • [2] National hospital week, May 6-12. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  • [3] Florence Nightingale | Historical reflections: The medical heritage center blog. (2011, January 10). Retrieved from
  • [4] Florence Nightingale. (2018, February 27). Retrieved from
  • [5] Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) – Prevention & treatment. (2020, April 24). Retrieved from

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