International Nurses Day 2021 - History & Celebration


International Nurses Day is a celebration worldwide and it acknowledges & celebrates the commitment & bravery of nurses around the world. This wonderful event is coordinated by the International Council of Nurses aka ICN to make sure that the invaluable contributions of nurses to the health of people around the globe are not only recognised but also acknowledged.

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For International Nurses Day 2021, the ICN has set the theme as - Nursing the world back to health, with a focus on the 'true value of nurses to the people of the world.' Annette Kennedy, who is the President of ICN, has said that 'This global COVID-19 pandemic has shown the world the important role that nurses play in keeping people healthy across the lifespan' hence this day will in the focus on the future of the healthcare sector.

The International Nurses Day is celebrated on the 12th of May each year. This day is also the birth anniversary of the nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale. The celebration of 2021 is made all the more special as this year has been marked as the Year of the Nurse & Midwife, as it is also the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingales. International Nurses Day has been celebrated by the ICN since the year 1965. But it wasn't until 1974 when the 12th of May was chosen to celebrate this day to be on the same day with the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale.

The International Council of Nurses makes & distributes the International Nurses' Day kit every year, which contains valuable educational & public information material which is used by nurses all around the world. But some nations around the world have their own way of celebrating this occasion. For example, United Kingdom holds a service each year in Westminster Abbey, London where a symbolic lamp is passed between nurses till it reaches the Nurses' Chapel inside the Abbey. It is then placed on the High Altar. This service represents the passing of knowledge from one nurse to the next.

The main objectives of this day are – The nurses worldwide should be trained, provided guidance & up-to-date knowledge about the needs and requirements of the health sector so that they don’t fall behind.

Good working conditions, with sick leaves, mental health support and any other assistance should be provided to the nurses since they are indispensable to the health sector.

Adequate financial assistance and the timely supply of resources required by them should be taken care of.

All health workers should be treated with due respect.

How you can celebrate it – On this day, gifts/ awards are given away to Nurses.

Many patients send e-Cards as a token of love.

Webinars and workshops organised to train & educate people.

The International Council of Nurses distributes an international nurse’s day kit having educational & public information materials.

This was a little about the International Nurses Day celebration. Nurses are truly a blessing and have proved it during the pandemic. They are indispensable and are essential to us. The healthcare sector wouldn’t be it without nurses. If you have any interesting facts on this topic, do tell us in the comments below. If you enjoyed this article, do visit the space for more such content!

- Kinjal Dixit