International Nurses Day takes place on May 12th each year, the date of Florence Nightingale’s birthday. It was originally created in 1974 to commemorate all the work that nurses do around the world.
Nursing staff and healthcare practitioners are all too often unsung heroes, looking after others in their most desperate times of need. Not only here in the UK but across the globe, these individuals selflessly help us all to address healthcare issues, providing compassionate care and making a massive difference in the lives of others.
Who Was Florence Nightingale?
Florence Nightingale is an icon of nursing, so it’s no surprise that her birth date is identified as the date on which to celebrate International Nurses Day. Sometimes referred to as the Lady with the Lamp, she was born in 1822 in Florence, Italy. She is most famous for her role in caring for wounded soldiers during the Crimea War in 1854.
Florence Nightingale however was much more than just this. She was also a great reformer who changed the face of nursing in Great Britain and established the Nightingale Training School which spread across the world. She is also credited with creating the pie chart and was the first woman to join the Royal Statistical Society as well as the first to be given the freedom of the City of London.
How Countries Celebrate International Nurses Day
Different countries celebrate International Nurses Day in different ways. In the UK, there is normally a service held in Westminster Abbey where nurses pass a lamp between each other in memory of Florence Nightingale. In Australia, they announce the Nurse of the Year while in the US and Canada this day forms an important part of National Nursing Week.
Other countries have their own National Nursing Day celebrations. Increasingly nowadays, events are backed up by social media campaigns and hashtags are created to celebrate the importance of nurses and their contribution to society. In the UK, hashtags such as #ThisNurse are used to help people share their stories in healthcare.
For International Nurses Day this year you need to look out for thehashtag #IND2019
International Nurses Day Themes
Since the late 80s, International Nurses Day has been organised alongside set themes. The first one in 1988 incorporated safe motherhood. Last year’s theme was health is a human right. Others have focused on young people or patient health.
The organisers produce a nurses kit that that is used to provide education and help healthcare workers around the world.
How Will You Celebrate International Nurses Day This Year?
In 2018, International Nurses Day in UK came together with the 70th anniversary of the NHS. It was a great opportunity to organise a whole host of events around the country. This year, the theme is Health For All and there are plenty of events already being organised for the celebrations.
Let us know how you are planning to celebrate International Nurses Day this year. Are you attending an event or getting involved on social media? Whatever you choose, use it as an opportunity to celebrate all nursing and healthcare staff who contribute so much to modern society.
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