National Nurse Assistants Week

We set aside this week to recognize CNAs for everything they have contributed to the health system. CNAs are crucial members of the homecare industry. They provide invaluable care to their clients leading to increased quality of life. Without CNAs, entire industries, such as ours, wouldn’t exist. It’s due to their importance that you consistently hear news coverage concerning the massive caregiver shortage that the country is experiencing and the impacts this is causing on the overall healthcare system. This week we can take the time to recognize and appreciate the dedication and hard work of individual in this vitally important profession.

During the pandemic, they served as “boots on the ground” for the homecare industry. They were present during seniors’ social isolation, loneliness, and anxiety. Some going above and beyond by setting up, at the family’s requests, video meetings between family members while providing consistent updates to loved ones. CNAs provided these services selflessly by prioritizing the safety of their clients above everything.

History of CNAs

CNAs were once referred to as Volunteer Nurse Aides. The program was created by the American Red Cross during World War I. Facing overwhelming numbers of injured soldiers and civilians, the program trained young women to provide basic assistance to nurses. The ending of World War I saw the ending of the volunteer program.

The American Red Cross reinstated the program during World War II, resulting in more than 12,000 women volunteering their service. Certification wasn’t necessary until 1987 when President Raegan passed the Omnibus Reconciliation Act, which set the standards for CNAs today. Before this, anyone with a high school education could become a nurse aide with little onsite training required from an LPN.

How to Celebrate

Showing appreciation to CNAs can be difficult. It’ll seem like nothing will equal the appreciation that we feel for CNAs, but this week is the time when we can put forth all our effort towards showing appreciation for work done year-round. One way to do this is raising awareness. This can be done in several ways:

  • Social Media posts using #NationalNurseAssistantsWeek
  • Invite local Politian’s to speak to CNAs directly
  • Wear appreciation shirts, or pins
  • Inform all coworkers to show appreciation and recognition, especially if not in the healthcare industry

Another way to celebrate this week is by holding a raffle for CNAs. There’s plenty of items that can be beneficial to CNAs and the week allows for daily drawings! Some raffle ideas include:

  • Scrubs
  • Gift cards
  • Spa treatment
  • Free Paid Time Off
  • Tote Bags
  • Tumblers
  • Fitbit
  • Paid Nurse Association Membership