International Nurse Day

Nurse holding patient's hand

Being a nurse is a challenging profession. It requires a lot of dedication, work, and many sleepless nights. But being a nurse also means that you will save countless lives during your career. And that is the primary reason why so many countries across the globe celebrate Nurse Day!

But what is Nurse Day really? Why do we celebrate it when we do? And what are some of the important things you need to know about this holiday? Let’s talk about Nurse Day and its importance in our everyday lives.

What Is Nurse Day?

IND or International Nurse Day is an international holiday celebrated annually as a way of showing appreciation to all the nurses in the world and what they do for us.

In the majority of countries, the holiday takes place on May 12th, and even though some countries might start celebrating earlier, it always takes place in May. The ICN (International Council of Nurses) started the tradition in 1965.

Since 1988, each year has offered a different theme for the event, and the theme for this year is Nurses: A Voice to Lead — Invest in Nursing. It will help spread awareness and for people to realize how important this investment can be.

The Story of Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale

Many of you might be wondering why this day was picked as a Nurse Day. And the answer is simple. May 12th was the day when Florence Nightingale was born in 1820, and she is often called the founder of modern nursing.

Florence Nightingale trained nurses during the Crimean War, and she organized care for injured soldiers in Constantinople. Over the years, she became an icon. Many of the stories were blown out of proportion, especially the one about the Lady with the Lamp. Namely, during the night, she would walk around the tents to see if anyone needed help. And she carried the lamp while checking on wounded soldiers.

It wasn’t long before people heard the story, and even though some of them are exaggerated, there is no denying that she was one of the most influential persons of the period.

After the war, Florence used her knowledge to start her own school of nursing at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London. It was the first nursing school in the world, and it shaped future generations and health systems. Since she created a foundation for modern nursing, it is perfectly natural why the birthday of Florence Nightingale was chosen to be an international holiday.

The Importance of Medical Workers

Recognition day for nurses is just one of many ways to show our appreciation. And it is more than obvious why nurses are a crucial part of every health care system. As we all know, the past few years put a huge strain on the entire system. The battle against the global pandemic showed that nothing would work without nurses.

Yes, doctors are able to do all complex procedures, surgeries, examinations, and others. But, there would be so much time lost during the process if not for nurses. They make the entire machinery work like a charm.

If the system is overburdened, time is of the essence. Hospitals that saw thousands of new patients and cases each week needed a lot of help. And the nurses answered! We saw week after week medical workers giving their best to help people and help everyone get through the pandemic. While we heard a few stories about countries not being able to organize properly, there is no denying that nurses were modern-day heroes during the pandemic.

Nurse pushin wheel chair for elder person

Celebration Across the Globe

Each country has a different way of celebrating the event. However, Nurse Day is not a regular celebration with parties and music. Instead, the idea is to recognize the importance, have a solemn ceremony, and give awards to nurses that earned them.

In the United States and Canada, the National Nursing Week starts on May 6th, and it lasts until Nightingale’s birthday on May 12th. The U.S. celebrated its first National Nurses Week in 1954, which marked the 100-year anniversary of Nightingale’s mission to Crimea.

In 1972, The National Student Nurses’ Association dedicated the Wednesday during the National Nursing Week to National School Nurse Day. This year, it will fall on May 11th. It doesn’t have a fixed day since it is tied to Wednesdays.

Show Our Support!

Two people holding hands for support

International Nurse Day is a perfect opportunity for all of us to show appreciation and support to nursing organizations and all the hard work they do. Not only during the pandemic but every single day. Nurses work tirelessly to help people across the world, and this is an important moment for all of us.

Many things have changed since Florence Nightingale introduced her strict hygiene practices, and she (along with her helpers) managed to reduce the death rate from 42% to 2%.

And the story continues to this day. Nurses save lives all the time, and if you are wondering how you can show your appreciation, you can always visit your local hospital and spread love. Being a nurse is far from easy. It often includes long shifts and tons of work. You can always bring some coffee to the receptionist and tell them that you are thankful for all they do.