National Nurses Week is a time to pay tribute to nurses and acknowledge the vital role they play in hospitals everywhere. Creative Commons

Nurses are the backbone of health care systems around the world, bearing up countless patients and working long days to help save lives. National Nurses Week 2015, which begins Wednesday, is a time to recognize the vital role nurses have played in hospitals everywhere.

"It's such a selfless job,” Erica Morse, a nurse clinician at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan, told “We are working holidays and weekends, and we miss a lot of times with our families. It's just a way to say thank you for all they do."

National Nurses Week begins every year on May 6 and ends May 12 to coincide with the birthday of Florence Nightingale, widely considered the founder of professional nursing. The most common ways to celebrate National Nurses Week include banquets, gift-giving and small gestures of kindness. Here are 15 quotes and sayings to share during National Nurses Week.

1. “The trained nurse has become one of the great blessings of humanity, taking a place beside the physician and the priest.” -- William Osler

2. “Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.” -- Gibran Khalil Gibran

3. “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

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

5. “When you are a nurse, you know that every day you will touch a life or a life will touch yours.” -- Anonymous

6. “Nurses dispense comfort, compassion and caring without even a prescription.” -- Val Saintsbury

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

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

9. “Some people think that doctors and nurses can put scrambled eggs back into the shell.” -- Dorothy Canfield Fisher

10. “The most important practical lesson that can be given to nurses is to teach them what to observe.” -- Florence Nightingale

11. “Drugs are not always necessary. Belief in recovery always is.” -- Norman Cousins

12. “Panic plays no part in the training of a nurse.” -- Elizabeth Kenny

13. “It would not be possible to praise nurses too highly.” -- Stephen Ambrose

14. “Save one life, and you're a hero. Save a hundred lives, and you're a nurse.” -- Unknown

15. “Nurses may not be angels, but they are the next best thing.” -- Anonymous