"Nursing Assistants: Specialists in the Art of Caring"

Celebrating 40 years as a professional organization for nursing assistants and

other direct care workers in long term care.

You help us meet our goals for 2017 when you

~ Practice the "Language of Person-Centered Care" in your daily interactions with residents and clients.

~ Discuss "What's your @?" .

~ Attend or conduct classes to decrease worker in juries on the job.

~ Talk to a legislator or public official about safe lifting or needs of NAs.

~ Submit an essay, poem or song to the NA Authors Club.

~ Host an Honor Society Meeting in your faculty for your NAs who have 20 or more years of service.

~ Talk to your local church group or high school about being a NA.

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Projects focusing on this initiative continue throughout the year: Fill out the contact form below with a description of your projects and continue to visit this website for more ideas.

Contact Us

40th Annual National Nursing Assistants Week

40th Annual National

Nursing Assistants Week

June 15-22, 2017

National Career

Nursing Assistants Day

June 15, 2017

Now as never before, attention is being directed to care of our elder and disabled citizens and greater attention also is directed to the workers who provide hands-on-care and caring.

The 40th annual National Nursing Assistants’ Week provides a timely opportunity to foster and showcase the wonderful things that can happen for residents and workers when we join together in planning your special Week, “Nursing Assistants: Specialists in the Art of Caring.”

Fun projects can also be educational. NA Week Projects for 2017 include Recognition events, Mayor Proclamations, memos to families and news releases; and also includes Person Centered  Care Programs such as “Partnerships: Meeting the Future with Skill and Confidence;”   We also continue the focus on Safe Lifting and decreasing worker injuries.

In order to make a difference, we need to seek out and involve our role models, peers, supervisors, clients, families, community, legislators, public policy officials, media and others.  Nursing Assistants Week provides a venue to bring folks together to create partnerships,  projects and programs that will continue throughout the year for the benefit of all.



The First Day of Nursing Assistants and Direct Care Workers Week–June 15, 2017–is designated as National Career Nursing Assistants’ Day to recognize nursing assistants who have dedicated their lives to the well-being of others for 5 to as many as 58 years.

These “Wisdom Keepers” © play an important role in showcasing “Partnerships ” because they are the “Historians of What Works.” They have developed a wide repertoire of skills and wisdom about how to apply principals of Person Centered care to daily tasks of care. Click here for more info about National Twenty Year Club and National Honor Society for Nursing Assistants.

For ideas on how to commemorate this special day and to request a free copy of the 2017 Planning Guide, click here.



From William Painter, Past President of Board NNCNA,

Advisor to the Male Nursing Assistant Task Force

Recognition for direct care workers has seemed to grow slightly in the past few years. While some of this recognition has to do with a growing awareness of the professional contribution of direct care workers, and is very welcomed, there has also been an increase in displays of “recognition” that are somewhat less sincere and driven by other motives.

This last kind of superficial “pat on the back” might help people feel good for awhile, but not really change care practices for either the workers or the people they care for.

What really changes things is when people come to a genuine understanding of the fundamental role that direct care workers have in creating quality in long term care in this country. Real change for the better only starts when people begin to understand the actual skills it takes to do this work.

The very best way for this kind of genuine recognition and real change to happen is for direct care workers to advocate for themselves! Direct care workers have to take it upon themselves to partner with public, state and federal government agencies, and, in particular, their elected officials about the nature of the work and what workers need to do the job right. Here are some ideas that you can use to advocate for yourself:

  1. Use the Language of  Respect and Cooperation on a daily basis when working with clients, coworkers, families and the community
  2. Make sure that you and your co-workers are registered to vote.
  3. Educate yourself and co-workers about the political issues that affect your jobs and the care you give. (Check news stories. Pay special attention to articles about wages and benefits, overtime pay, parity, staffing ratios, safety on the job, and  job-training.
  4. Get to know your lawmakers! Call your legislators. Write letters. Find out who the influential people are in long term care and contact them. Get a small group together and make an appointment to visit.
  5. Practice your message and avoid complaining – be assertive and professional. It is your government and your money being spent! Don’t be chicken! They hear from the other “experts”, but if they are ever going to understand how it really is, they have got to hear directly from you!
  6. Look for and create opportunities to speak to churches, civic organizations, seniors groups, etc.

The time to act is right now! YOU are the Great American Caregiver and this is your year. Make National Nurse Assistant’s Week a time, not just accept recognition from others, but a time to celebrate all the things you have done already to make your profession everything it can be!




Also see our 2017 Planning Guide & PR Kit

“Nursing Assistants Authors”

Call for Essays and Projects 2014

Especially for: Nursing Assistants, Caregivers, Care Assistants, Home Care Aides, Geriatric Assistants, Resident Assistants, Patient Care Assistants, Restorative Aides, Health Care Assistants, and other direct care providers in Nursing Homes, In-Home Care, Hospitals, Hospice, Assisted Living, Emergency rooms, prisons, schools and other Long Term Care Settings

Share your wisdom and ideas for creating a safe care setting for workers and residents as well

Help others understand the important work of the nursing assistant

Become a published author

Nursing Assistants – “Nursing Assistants: Specialists in the Art of Caring” and interactions with patients, residents and clients are central to Caring. The words you use are powerful and can encourage, reassure, support, or convey respect and concern.

Many changes are occurring in health care today. Projects for NAWeek are designed to help you showcase your skills and achievements and create new and positive ways to deal effectively new demands and opportunities. The focus is on “Partnerships in Person Centered Care.” We also want to showcase your ideas about ways to make the care setting safer and more homelike for patients, and worker as well.

Work by yourself, with your team or committee, or with colleagues to create an essay, skit, song – write and submit or create an audiotape or videotape. Work by yourself, with your team or committee, or with colleagues to produce an essay, photos, audio tape or video tape.


Nursing Assistants: Specialists in the Art of Caring

Choose one or more of the following formats

ESSAY – Choose one or more of the following questions:

  • What do you say when……. you find a resident crying, or wandering, or refusing to eat?
  • What do you say when….. she does not want to take a shower, or put clothes on or he refuses to get out of bed?
  • Brainstorm a list of Killer Comments and Caring Comments

SKIT –  Write and videotape your skit on safe lifting or what do you say when…..?

SONG – Create your own words to a popular songs

Entries can be typed, handwritten or emailed, and must include your name, address and phone number. Please limit your essay to two paragraphs. If possible, enclose photos of those involved.

Submit your own entry – or work with other nursing assistant(s) to develop a Team Entry by June 1, 2017, to be eligible for special discounts and inclusion on our web site for NAWeek.

Click here to print the submission form

Mail completed entry to:

National Network of Career Nursing Assistants

3577 Easton Road

Norton, Ohio 44203-5661

PH: 330-615-7717 Fax: 330-615-7717




Now is the time to plan for the 40th Annual National Nursing Assistants Week June 15-22, 2017, “Nursing Assistants: Specialists in the Art of Caring.”    Many changes are occurring in health care today and Projects for NAWeek are designed to help the NA recognize and respond in positive ways to some of the new demands and opportunities.

Who are Career Nursing Assistants?

Nursing assistants are key players in the lives of the people in their care. Each day, more than 4.5 million caregivers provide hands-on care to our nation’s frail, elderly, or chronically challenged citizens in nursing homes and other long term care settings.  These important workers have various titles including: Nursing Assistant, Direct Care Worker, Nurse Aide, Care Assistant, Caregiver, Hospice Aide, In-Home Care Aide, ED Assistant, Resident Assistant, Hospice Assistant, Patient Care Assistant, Personal Care Assistant, Geriatric Aide, Restorative Aide, Health Care Assistant, and many more titles


  • 1. Get excited about the wonderful possibilities for honoring our important health care workers – Start talking and brainstorming about creative projects and programs that can be developed in your facility or in your area.
  • 2. Bring people together for planning – The 40th Annual. Nationwide observance of National Nursing Assistants Week provides many opportunities that are fun and also rewarding during NA Week but also throughout the year.  It is not too early to appoint a Planning Committee to pull this all together.
  • 3. Ask your Mayor to proclaim the week – Community awareness of the unique contributions of the nursing assistant can be enhanced when your Mayor proclaims Nursing Assistants’ Week to the citizens of your community. A Proclamation suitable for signing by your mayor or public official can be ordered at minimal cost at the address below or downloaded at no cost at our web site at  Start your NAW Scrapbook now.
  • 4. Brainstorm ways to recognize and honor nursing assistants – Nursing assistants can be a wonderful source of creative ideas when they know they are not being tested.  Often the most “far-out” ideas are the most relevant and successful. The goal is to generate as many good ideas as possible and involve as many people as possible. Teams can be an effective way to generate ideas and also build positive communications.
  • 5. Select and organize your projects and programs – Change is everywhere and NAs are being called on as never before to address issues of Person Centered Care; MDS for Nursing Assistants, Preventing Rehospitalizations, and computer based reporting.  Safety Committees remain in the spot light to foster Safe Patient Handling and decrease worker and resident injury.

Have fun while sending an important message to others.  Each day of NA Week provides a unique opportunity to focus on a different aspect of “Heart of Care” Projects initiated during NA Week 2017 can be continued throughout the year for value added.  Work on a committee, use your own great ideas, download materials from our web site, or purchase the NAW Planning and PR Guide (see below)

The Planning Guide includes activities for each day of NAW and suggestions of ways you can continue these programs throughout the year. It also includes discussion guides, sample press release, Proclamation forms, certificate master, and info for planning.

  • 6. Involve public officials and community leaders – In addition to signing a Proclamation, your Mayor may want to attend your celebration activities and may even have some ideas of his/her own.  A Deputy Mayor in one state invited local Nursing Assistants Week Committee Members to her home for a home cooked gourmet meal.
  • 7. Promote your events to the community – Newspapers, TV and radio stations are interested in local events and may provide special coverage of your events.  Media representatives can provide guidelines for submission of your release.
  • 8. Promote your projects in the facility – Internal networking can get people involved and build anticipation for the good we can do when we work together. Posters or invitations can be made by the NA Committee, a craft class, the Resident’s Council, family members or the local high school or college.  Include in your scrapbook.
  • 9. Keep it moving – It is June 9 – the first day of the 40th Annual National Nursing Assistants Week. Your staff will cover resident care.  You invited the newspaper to photograph your “Most Service Years Recipient.”  Residents are busy coaching nursing assistants about hair styles and how to smile at the camera. The pins and t-shirts are ready for awards and the names are spelled correctly on the certificates.  Your check off list is complete. You just brought it all together. Enjoy.
  • 10. Plan to plan for next year – What was the best thing you did for Nursing Assistants Week?  What would you like to do differently next year?  Answering these important questions now will help your plans go even better next year. A final summary of your activities and outcomes – expected and unexpected can be a part of your scrapbook.

Need more ideas? See our 2017 Planning Guide.

The National Network of Career Nursing Assistants

3577 Easton Road, Norton, Ohio 44203-5661

(330) 825-9342.     330-615-7717 – fax.

Find more info on our web site – – click on Facebook to meet NAs from across the country.

~Founder and sponsor of the annual nationwide observance of Nursing Assistants Week 1977-2017~



Nursing assistants are key players in the lives of the people in their care, and each nursing assistant is called to create an environment of caring for the resident or client and the worker as well.

The nationwide observance of Nursing Assistant’s Week provides many opportunities to recognize and validate the role of the nursing assistant in the health care system. Public recognition of nursing assistants provides a valuable service, not only for making nursing assistants more visible, but also, to lessen the concern by family members when a loved one is in need of special care.

The annual observance of Nurse Assistants’ Week and Career Nurse Assistants’ Day is a special time to celebrate and recognize the efforts of the Nurse Assistant in long-term care services. Here are a few ways to say thank you to this important worker:

  1. Display photos of your NAs with notes about favorite foods, hobbies or families.
  2. Plan an awards ceremony and invite your mayor and local and state legislators.
  3. Conduct a Poster Contest or Essay Contest about Teamwork.
  4. Select teams of nursing assistants to conduct Daily Dialogues during the 8 days of National Nursing Assistants’ Week.
  5. Create a poster consisting of “thank you” notes from family members and staff. Include pictures of your nurse assistants. When complete, enlarge your poster to 5X8 feet and post it in a prominent place.
  6. Provide computer training for nursing assistants and encourage them to connect with resources and nursing assistant groups in other areas.
  7. Ask NAs to write and star in a video about your nursing home.
  8. Enroll eligible Career Nurse Assistants as members in the National Network of Career Nursing Assistants or the National Twenty Year Club.
  9. Convene a Council or Chapter of the National Network of Career Nursing Assistants in your facility or area.
  10. Conduct a special project during NA Week. Give your NAs the responsibility, authority and guidelines for planning.

Need more ideas? See our 2017 10 Steps for Planning.



Celebrations across the country

If you are coordinating a local or state celebration, send details using our contact form to the left and we will add them to this list.




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