April 10, 2024

National CNA Week 2024: The History & Ideas to Celebrate CNAs

A CNA stands behind a patient in a wheelchair and smiles while on a walk outdoors.

National Certified Nursing Assistants Week, also known as National CNA Week, is an annual observance in the United States dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the contributions of certified nursing assistants (CNAs) in healthcare. Becoming a CNA is a major decision that contributes to the well-being of patients in need of compassionate care. CNAs play a crucial role in providing direct patient care and support in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home health agencies.

When is CNA Week 2024?

National CNA Week is June 13 - 19, 2024.

How did National CNA Week come to be? 

The history of National CNA Week dates back to the establishment of the National Network of Career Nursing Assistants (NNCNA). The NNCNA was founded in 1977 by Laurie J. White to advocate for the recognition, education, and advancement of nursing assistants as a vital part of the healthcare workforce.

In 1986, the NNCNA successfully lobbied Congress to designate the first week of June as National Nursing Assistants Week, a time to honor and appreciate the hard work and dedication of CNAs across the country. The week typically includes various activities, events, and recognition ceremonies organized by healthcare facilities, professional organizations, and communities to celebrate CNAs and their contributions to patient care.

Over the years, National Nursing Assistants Week has grown in popularity and significance, with many states and municipalities also declaring their own observances to coincide with the national event. The week serves as an opportunity to raise awareness about the essential role CNAs play in healthcare delivery, promote education and training opportunities for nursing assistants, and advocate for better working conditions and support for CNAs in their workplaces.

CNA Week ideas for 2024

  1. Recognition Ceremony: Organize a ceremony to publicly recognize and honor CNAs for their hard work and dedication. This could include speeches, certificates of appreciation, and small tokens of gratitude.
  1. Appreciation Luncheon or Breakfast: Host a special meal, either catered or potluck-style, to show appreciation for their contributions. Provide a festive atmosphere with decorations and music.
  1. Staff Awards: Present awards or certificates to outstanding CNAs in categories such as professionalism, compassion, teamwork, and excellence in patient care.
  1. Personalized Thank You Notes: Encourage patients, families, and colleagues to write personalized thank-you notes or cards expressing their appreciation for their nursing assistants. Display these notes in a prominent area for all to see.
  1. Educational Workshops: Offer educational workshops or training sessions focused on topics relevant to CNAs, such as communication skills, infection control, patient safety, or self-care.
  1. Wellness Activities: Organize wellness activities or relaxation sessions for professionals to help them de-stress and recharge, such as yoga classes, meditation sessions, or chair massages.
  1. Team Building Activities: Plan fun team-building activities or games to promote camaraderie and teamwork among staff.
  1. Theme Days: Have themed dress-up days throughout the week, such as "Superhero Day" or "Tropical Day," to add some fun and creativity to the celebration.
  1. Gift Bags or Swag: Prepare gift bags or swag items, such as branded water bottles, tote bags, or stress balls, as tokens of appreciation. Check out our DIY Nurse Survival Kit blog for more ideas.
  1. Community Outreach: Organize volunteer opportunities or community outreach projects involving CNAs to give back to the local community and promote goodwill.
  1. Social Media Recognition: Use social media platforms to highlight individual professionals and share stories of their impact on patients and the healthcare team. Encourage staff and community members to participate by using a dedicated hashtag.
  1. Professional Development Opportunities: Provide professionals with opportunities for professional development, such as attending conferences, workshops, or online courses related to their field.
  1. Decorate Workspaces: Decorate common areas and workspaces with banners, balloons, and posters celebrating National CNA Week to create a festive atmosphere.
  1. Create a Memory Wall: Set up a memory wall where CNAs can share photos, memories, and positive experiences from their time working in healthcare.
  1. Collaborative Projects: Collaborate with other departments or organizations to create joint activities or initiatives that promote teamwork and community engagement.

These are just a few ideas to help you celebrate National CNA Week and show appreciation for the hard work and dedication of certified nursing assistants. Feel free to adapt and customize these suggestions to fit the preferences and resources of your organization or community.

Celebrating CNAs all year round

While the specific dates and activities may vary from year to year, National Nursing Assistants Week continues to be an important annual tradition for honoring and recognizing the dedication and compassion of CNAs who provide essential care and support to patients in need. To all CNAs out there, we say thank you!

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