One could argue that every day is a Nurse Day, and given the raging pandemic, now more than ever. Historically, May 12, the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, is celebrated as the International Nurses Day. But why?
Florence Nightingale- ‘the Lady with the Lamp’
Florence Nightingale was an English nurse, a social reformer, and a statistician who founded the key pillars of modern nursing. She was born today in the year 1820. She started working as a nurse in charge of the British and allied soldiers, wounded during the Crimean War. She was known as the Lady with the Lamp. Florence Nightingale spent most of her time caring and comforting the injured – often late into the night. The first nursing school – the Nightingale School of Nursing – was inaugurated in London in 1860. Florence Nightingale was a key figure behind setting up a training school for midwives as well. She was the first woman who was awarded the Order of Merit in 1907.
The ICN (International Council of Nurses) – on its part – has celebrated this day since 1965.
May 12 was chosen to celebrate the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing on January 1974.
Nurses are at the forefront of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Like doctors and other healthcare workers, nurses continuously provide high-quality care often without a break. Nurses are often the only health professionals that people see in a crisis. According to the WHO, ”nurses account for more than half of all the world’s health workers, yet there is an urgent shortage of nurses worldwide with 5.9 million (2020) more nurses still needed, especially in low and middle-income countries.”
Make sure you say a big Thank You to the nurses today.