Hospital Nurses
Operating room Charge Nurse Bridgett Pacheco (L) writes on the daily O.R. schedule as O.R. Technician Liz Keating watches at Littleton Adventist Hospital, part of Centura Health in Littleton, Colorado, May 3, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

May 6 kicks off National Nurses Week, which runs through May 12 annually in recognition of the birthday of the indelible founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale. With events, discounts and freebies available to nurses and healthcare providers nationwide, National Nurses Week offers an opportunity for communities to celebrate their local heroes.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2016, there were an estimated 3 million nurses in the occupation. The American Nursing Association (ANA), however, says there are as many as 3.6 million registered nurses in the United States. According to ANA’s website, 2017 has been designated the "Year of the Healthy Nurse," with the official National Nurses Week theme being "Nursing: the Balance of Mind, Body, and Spirit."

Read: Nurses Week 2017 Freebies: 5 Places To Get Free Food, Discounts On May 6

There are plenty of reasons to celebrate the profession daily, but National Nurses Week presents the chance to give back to these integral members of society. In observance of the holiday, International Business Times has rounded a few quotes and phrases that celebrate the everyday contributions of the nation’s nurses.

"I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse." — Florence Nightingale

"America’s nurses are the beating heart of our medical system." — Barack Obama

“As a nurse, we have the opportunity to heal the heart, mind, soul and body of our patients, their families and ourselves. They may not remember your name, but they will never forget the way you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou

“Always thank your nurse. Sometimes they’re the only one between you and a hearse.” — Warren Beatty

“Nurses are the heart of healthcare.” — Donna Wilk Cardillo

“Nurses have come a long way in a few short decades. In the past our attention focused on physical, mental and emotional healing. Now we talk of healing your life, healing the environment, and healing the planet.” — Lynn Keegan

“Caring is the essence of nursing.” — Jean Watson

“Our job as nurses is to cushion the sorrow and celebrate the job, every day, while we are ‘just doing our jobs.’” — Christine Belle

“Bound by paperwork, short on hands, sleep and energy ... nurses are rarely short on caring.” — Sharon Hudacek

“Nurses are the hospitality of the hospital.” — Carrie Latet

“A nurse is compassion in scrubs.” — Lexie Saige

“To do what nobody else will do, a way that nobody else can do, in spite of all we go through; is to be a nurse.” — Rawsi Williams