Editorial: Nurses are real life superheroes

Happy healthcare coworkers taking a selfie at hospital
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Today marks the official start of National Nurses Week, a weeklong event that aims to honor the work of healthcare heroes. The tradition began in the 1950s and has since evolved to include celebrations, events and special tokens of appreciation towards healthcare workers throughout the country.

National Nurses Week begins annually on May 6 and runs through May 12, concluding on Florence Nightingale’s birthday. And while certainly throughout history, Nurses Week has been an important opportunity to celebrate the courageous and valiant work of these men and women, today—after an incredibly difficult year for so many—this is a fantastic time to pay tribute to the selfless work and dedication of our heroic nurses.

Many local businesses and institutions are doing their part to celebrate and honor nurses throughout Philadelphia and the region. Here’s how some are stepping up for those who have done so much throughout the pandemic.

Philadelphia Cultural Institutions

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, the Barnes Foundation, Eastern State Penitentiary, the Franklin Institute, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art are celebrating National Nurses Week with Free Admission Days for hospital workers. To show their appreciation, frontline workers and their families are invited to visit these Philadelphia staples free of charge.

“We are so grateful to the healthcare heroes who have worked—and continue to work—tirelessly on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, risking their lives to help others,” Philadelphia cultural leaders said in a joint statement. “We thank and honor them the best way we know how: offering up our galleries and exhibits as a respite from the stress and anxiety of this harrowing year. We hope that our institutions will provide a sense of rejuvenation to our region’s dedicated hospital workers as they continue their critical work throughout this global health crisis.”

More information on booking instructions are available on each institution’s website.

Dunkin’ Donuts

Healthcare heroes can start their day with a free coffee, thanks to Dunkin’ Donuts. The franchise is showing their gratitude to healthcare workers with a free hot or iced coffee on Thursday, May 6. No purchase is necessary, nurses just need to show their valid ID at participating Dunkin’ Donuts locations.


Chipotle Mexican Grill is saying thank you in a very tasty way—by giving away 250,000 burritos to healthcare workers and inviting people to show their gratitude to the healthcare community through virtual thank you’s via giving.chipotle.com/healthcareheroes

“Given the events of the past year, we are once again bringing our fans together to show appreciation for the heroic efforts of the healthcare community,” said Chris Brandt, Chief Marketing Officer in a statement.

Insomnia Cookies

Local hotspot Insomnia Cookies is showing their appreciation with a very sweet treat. Now through Sunday, May 9, nurses will receive a free cookie (with a valid work ID, no purchase necessary) or a free-six pack with any purchase. Visit insomniacookies.com for details.

No matter how you decide to applaud healthcare workers this week, please take the time to personally thank the nurses in your life. They are, in fact, real life superheroes and should be celebrated not just this week, but everyday.