International Nurses Day 2019: All You Need To Know

International Nurses Day 2019 is observed on 12th May. It is celebrated to honour the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale and also to thanks the nurses for their tireless efforts and contributions.
May 12, 2019 10:27 IST
International Nurses Day 2019: Health For All

Nurses are indispensable in safeguarding public health. Let us see through this article about International Nurses Day, its theme, history and how this day is celebrated.

Nurses play an essential role in our medical institutions such as giving safety or help in the recovery of patients etc. No doubt when some patient is in need of care then nurses work tirelessly to identify and protect the needs of the individual.

“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”– Mother Teresa

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

Nurses also have immense knowledge and have several skills that they spend in an organisation for perfection and development. Most of the time nurses work in tough environments where extreme stress is a part of their job.

International Nurses Day: History
In 1953, Dorothy Sutherland, an official with the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, contacted President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed to celebrate "Nurses Day". At that time he did not approved her proposal. First time it was celebrated by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) in 1965. In January 1974, 12 May date was declared to celebrate ‘International Nurses Day’ because on this date Florence Nightingale was born, who is the founder of modern nursing. Every year on this day ICN prepare and distribute International Nurses Day Kit which consists of educational and public information materials which can be used by nurses among public. Let us tell you that National Student Nurse's Day is celebrated on 8 May since 1998 and National Nurses week from 6 May to 12 May since 2003.

World Health Day 2019

Who was Florence Nightingale?

Florence Nightingale was born on 12 May, 1820, Florence (Italy) and is known as the foundational philosopher of the modern nursing. She is also famous as Lady with the Lamp. She was British nurse, statistician and social reformer who was the founder philosopher of modern nursing. During the Crimean War, she was put in charge of nursing British and allied soldiers in Turkey. She spends several hours in the wards and whole night she cared patients, visited them, night rounds with a lamp in her hand and so an image was established as "Lady with the Lamp". Due to her efforts of formalising nursing education, the first scientifically based nursing school, the Nightingale School of Nursing, at St. Thoma's Hospital in London was opened in 1860. She was also instrumental in setting up training for midwives and nurses in workhouse infirmaries. Do you know that she was the first woman awarded the Order of Merit in 1907.

International Nurses Day 2019: Theme
The theme for 2019 is "Health For All". And National Nurses Day 2019 theme is "Nursing: The Balance of Mind, Body and Spirit".

How International Nurses Day is celebrated?
This day is celebrated annually by organising a candle lamp service in the Westminster Abbey, London. Let us tell you that a candle lamp is handed over from one nurse to another which symbolise as passing the knowledge from one nurse to another to place it on the High Altar. At the Florence Nightingale's burial place at the St. Margaret’s Church, a day after her birthday, a big ceremony is also held.
In US and Canada a whole week this day is celebrated as national Nursing Week. Even in Australia also varieties of nursing ceremonies are organised. This whole week health care services on international level are targeted. Even American Nurses Association supports and encourages the celebration and work of the Nurses.

Several activities are also held like educational seminars, variety of community events, debates, competitions, discussions etc. Also, nurses are honoured and appreciated by the friends, doctors, administrators and patients by distributing gifts, flowers, organising dinners etc.

International Nurses Day: Significance
In the whole world we can't ignore the fact that nursing is the largest health care profession in the world and they are the key factors in achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDG). Several training modules are provided to the nurses for maintaining health and wellness of the patients.
No doubt nurses have deep knowledge of delivering best health care services. Do you know that National Nurses Associations (NNAs) play an important role in encouraging nurses, providing education, well informed, advised, so that they can deliver their work properly? Also, NNA work with governmental and non-governmental organisations to strengthen the health care systems.

What is International Council of Nurses (ICN)?
It is an organisation that operates nurses and leads nursing internationally. They ensure quality nursing care for all and sound health policies all around the world. Every year ICN chooses a theme to celebrate International Nurses Day. 2017-2019 campaign, Nurses: A Voice to Lead, focuses on the need for nurses to become more active and vocal in policy development and implementation. The resources and evidence deal with critical issues of the time and highlight the many ways in which nurses are making an impact.

So, we can say that International Nurses Day is celebrated across the world to raise awareness about the nursing as a profession and also the contribution made by the nurses towards the health care regime. Nurses are the people who meet the local needs of the patients, who have proper knowledge about how to handle patient properly, to improve physical, mental well-being of the patients etc.

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