Now more than ever the world is extremely grateful for our healthcare and frontline workers who are putting themselves at risk every day. The 12th May is International Nurses day when the world celebrates nurses hard work and commitment, it also Florence Nightingale’s birthday who was the founder of modern nursing and one of Britain’s most notable and inspiring women.
What is International Nurses Day and how did come about?
The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has celebrated the day since 1965 however it wasn’t until 1974 that that day was officially named. The 12th May was chosen as it is the date of Florence Nightingale’s and marks her founding and contribution to nursing today. Each year the ICN prepares and distributes the International Nurses Day Kit to nurses around the world. The kit contains useful educational materials and information so that nurses can continue to provide the best healthcare. Each year the day has a theme, the theme for 2020 is Nurses – A voice to lead – Nursing the World to Health.
Who is Florence Nightingale?
Florence Nightingale was a British nurse best known for leading the first official team of British military nurses to Turkey during the Crimean War and revolutionising nursing. When she arrived in Turkey, she noticed that the hospitals were in poor condition and many were overcrowded, she reported this back to the Army Medical Services and helped to prevent many deaths. Doctors who worked at the hospital said many more soldiers would have died had it not been for Florence and the other nurses. Florence was given the nickname “the Lady with the Lamp” due to how many hours she would work throughout the night tending to sick soldiers. Upon her return to England after the war, she decided that nurses needed and deserved better education and training. This led to her setting up The Nightingale School of Nursing which allowed many more women to study nursing and became the foundation for modern nursing that we see around the world today.
You can find out more about Florence Nightingale here
How can I celebrate and support International Nurses Day?
Normally nurses across the world would gather to commemorate the day and some may receive accolades from the medical industry and world leaders. Unfortunately, due to many restrictions on crowds, this year the event is expected to be celebrated across social media and videos on the importance of the work nurses do will be released.
If you want to support International Nurses Day, why not light a candle or have a moment to remember all their hard work whilst you are at home? You can also look into how you can support your country’s healthcare system, here in the UK you can work with, volunteer or donate to the NHS.