Our nurses, Our future: Celebrating International Nurses Day

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International Nurses Day is celebrated every year on May 12 in commemoration of their contribution to the healthcare sector.

According to Dr. Pamela Cipriano, president of the International Council of Nurses (ICN), the theme for this year’s celebrations is “Our Nurses, Our Future”, a global campaign that aims at addressing global health challenges so that better health is achievable for all.

“The Our Nurses, Our Future campaign will shine the light on nurses and on a brighter future, moving nurses from invisible to invaluable in the eyes of policymakers, the public, and all those who make decisions affecting the delivery and financing of health care,” Dr. Cipriano said.

How the day came to be celebrated

In the 1850s, during the Crimean War, a nurse named Florence Nightingale, who was born on May 12, 1820, in Italy, gained prominence during the war, where she and her team of nurses treated wounded soldiers. In 1854, Florence, with 38 sanctioned women, treated wounded British troops.

She tended to their wounds, procured medicines and equipment, and ensured that the wards were clean and hygienic. She also worked at night with a lamp in her hand, due to which she got the title “lady with a lamp”. With her efforts, sanitary conditions improved, and nursing practices significantly reduced mortality rates and revolutionized the profession. Nightingale died at the age of 90 on August 13, 1910.

International Nurses Day marks the anniversary of Nightingale, who is considered the founder of modern nursing. In 1974, the International Council of Nurses declared that the birth anniversary of Nightingale be celebrated as International Nurses Day.

Nurses around the world strive to care for their patients and make immense contributions to the global healthcare system, but they are not normally recognized. International Nurses Day honors all such nurses who work relentlessly and tirelessly to render their crucial services.

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