ANA’s four focuses for National Nurses Month this year

American Nurses Association chooses the theme ‘You Make a Difference’ to honor nurses this year

May 1 marks the beginning of National Nurses Month, 31 days to shine a spotlight on all you do and show appreciation for your sacrifices.

“You bring vast knowledge and expertise to every health care setting across a wide range of specialties, serving your patients and communities throughout the continuum of life and care,” the American Nurses Association wrote. “You truly make a difference by influencing and shaping health policy decisions that ensure all people have access to high-quality, affordable healthcare coverage.”

The ANA chose the theme “You Make a Difference” to honor nurses this year.

This year’s celebration is broken into four focus areas — one for each week.

Week 1: Self-care

May 1-7 will focus on “cultivating and maintaining optimal mental health and physical well-being,” ANA wrote.

Week 2: Recognition

The next week will honor outstanding nurses, including those in Atlanta. The ANA states the focus will be to “honor the work of nurses who lead, excel, and innovate in our healthcare systems and our communities.” On Friday, May 12, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will honor 10 nurses and one nurse leader during our annual Celebrating Nurses Awards ceremony. To read about and watch videos of all honorees, please visit www.ajc.com/pulse/#celebratingnurses on March 12.

Week 3: Professional development

During the third week, May 15-21, ANA recommends you focus on how to excel in your career and become a leader, or learn how to inspire others.

Week 4: Community engagement

During the last week of May, ANA suggests nurses focus on engaging with your community. Educate others as to what you do beyond dispensing medications and other bedside duties, such as serving on boards, shaping public policy and more.