International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. Promotional and educational activities are organized while celebrating the International Nurses Day annually to address lots of nursing issues. The theme of celebration is selected based on nurses and environment, handling poor, poverty issues and many more. It is celebrated as a week-long event, referred as National Nurses Week, in many countries like Australia, United States, Canada and etc. The theme for 2014 is: Nurses: A Force for Change – A vital resource for health.
Nurses Day was first proposed by the Dorothy Sutherland (an officer from the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare) in the year 1953 and first proclaimed by the President Dwight D. Eisenhower. And it was first celebrated by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) in the year 1965. In the month of January in 1974, the 12th of May was declared to be celebrated as the birthday anniversary of the founder of modern nursing, the Florence Nightingale. International Nurses Day Kit (having educational and public information materials to be used by the nurses among public) is prepared and distributed every year by the International Council of Nurses while celebrating the nurse’s day.
UNISON (the British public sector union) had asked the ICN in 1999 to celebrate this day on another date as Florence Nightingale is not symbolizing the modern nursing. Then, National Student Nurses’ Day was started celebrating annually on 8th of May since 1998 and National Nurses Week was started celebrating every year from 6th of May to 12th of May since 2003.
Florence Nightingale (the foundational philosopher of the modern nursing) was born on 12th of May in 1820. International Council of Nurses established the day in 1974 to be celebrated every year to highlight the importance of nurse’s role in providing the best health care services. She became an important figure of the nursing since Crimean War during 1850s. She, stationed at the Barrack Hospital, Scutari, reformed the health care services and nursing and opened “the Nightingale School of Nursing” at the St. Thomas Hospital, London in 1860.
International Council of Nurses celebrates this event aiming to increase the public awareness about the nursing and nurses contribution towards the health care innovation. Nurses are the fast and first point of contacting for health services. Nurses are innovatively practiced to provide free health checkup to the industries indicating their willingness of improving the health of staffs, to meet all the local needs, to improve the physical, mental and well-being of the patients and etc.