International Nurses Day, History and Theme

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International Nurses Day celebrates nurses, an important part of our medical system, who have been consistently underestimated for their contribution to the health care system. 

“And what nursing has to do in either case is to put the patient in the best condition for nature to act upon him.”

Florence Nightingale

Nurses play a vital role in the medical institutions in people’s recovery, care, and well-being. Unfortunately, they hardly receive the recognition that they deserve. Hence the International Council of Nurses (ICN) celebrates International Nurses’ Day to pay a token of honor and tribute to all nurses. 

History of International Nurses’ Day 

International Nurses’ Day is a day celebrated every year around the globe on May 12. This day commemorates the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, the foundational philosopher of modern nursing. The ICN celebrated International Nurses’ Day for the first time in 1965. In 1974 it was decided to celebrate it on May 12 to remind people about the contribution of Florence Nightingale to health care.

In some countries like Australia, the United States, and Canada, International Nurses’ Day is a part of a weekly celebration called international nurses’ week. It begins on May 6 and concludes on May 12.  

Who was Florence Nightingale?

Besides being a nurse, Florence Nightingale was a social reformer and a statistician. She emerged as an important figure in nursing in the 1850s during the Crimean war. She was stationed at Barrack hospital and served as the manager and trainer for nurses who cared for an injured British soldier. After her posting, she discovered the wretched conditions of the hospital and medical facilities. She implemented strict regulations for care. She demanded and managed well-stocked food and medical supplies and maintained hygienically cleaned wards and practices. These measures reduced the death rate from 42% to 2%. Her efforts gave her a favorable reputation and recognition for the nursing profession and made her an icon of Victorian culture. In 1960 she established her nursing school at St. Thomas hospital, London. It was the first secular nursing school in the world. 

In recognition of Nightingale’s revolutionary work in nursing, the new nurses take Nightingale’s Pledge, and a nurse can achieve the highest international distinction that is the Florence Nightingale Medal, named in honor of Florence Nightingale. 

Gifts to buy for your favourite nurse

International Nurses’ Day 2022 Theme

Every year ICN announces a new theme for the international nurse’s day and the theme for international nurses 2022 is ‘Nurses: A voice to lead – Invest in Nursing and respect right to secure global health’. The theme emphasizes protecting and supporting the nursing profession alongside making investments in it. It demands real-time investment in the nursing workforce. It will strengthen the health system.

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International Nurses’ Day Greetings Images

Nurses Contribution

Although we need a nurse from birth to old age, we usually remember them when we see them in hospitals. We must remember that they are helping patients plagued with all kinds of medical problems along with doctors. We usually and appreciate doctors when we remember front line workers, but nurses are not in front of our minds. We must remember that after the important contribution by the doctors, it is the nurses who actually take care of the patients. Their contribution and work during the Covid 19 pandemic has been exemplary.

Invest in the nursing profession

Support and investment in the nursing profession are very crucial. COVID-19 has made it mandatory to invest in nursing jobs and education. Right from birth to death, any disease, be-it a non-communicable disease or an infectious disease, either mental health to chronic conditions; in hospitals, homes, and communities, nurses provide person-centered health care services for all. By developing the nursing workforce, countries can improve the health care system and promote gender equality and strengthen the national economy.