When is this holiday celebrated?
International Nurses Day (IND) is celebrated around the world every 12 May. This day is celebrated to remember all of the valuable contributions nurses make to society.
Origin of this holiday
"The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has celebrated this day since 1965. In 1953 Dorothy Sutherland, an official with the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, had proposed that then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaim a "Nurses Day," but he did not approve it."
"In January 1974, the decision was made to celebrate the day on 12 May as it is the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, who is widely considered the founder of modern nursing. Each year, ICN prepares and distributes the International Nurses' Day Kit. The kit contains educational and public information materials, for use by nurses everywhere."
"As Florence Nightingale is no longer seen as a role model in some parts of the world, demands have arisen, for example by the British public sector union UNISON, to transfer this day on another date. 21 May, the birthday of Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845), has been suggested. Elizabeth Fry founded the Institution of Nursing Sisters and is also known for her work with prisoners."
"As of 1998, 8 May was designated as National Student Nurses Day, to be celebrated annually. And as of 2003, National School Nurse Day is celebrated on the Wednesday within National Nurses Week (6-12 May) each year."
"Each year on 12 May service is held in Westminster Abbey in London. During the Service, a symbolic Lamp is taken from the Nurses' Chapel in the Abbey and handed from one nurse to another, thence to the Dean, who places it on the High Altar. This signifies the passing of knowledge from one nurse to another. At St Margaret's Church at East Wellow in Hampshire, where Florence Nightingale is buried, a service is also held on the Sunday after her birthday."
ICN past themes for International Nurses Day:
- 2000 - Nurses - Always there for you
- 2001 - Nurses, Always There for You: United Against Violence
- 2002 - Nurses Always There for You: Caring for Families
- 2003 - Nurses: Fighting AIDS stigma, working for all
- 2004 - Nurses: Working with the Poor; Against Poverty
- 2005 - Nurses for Patients Safety: Targeting counterfeit medicines and substandard medication
- 2006 - Safe staffing saves lives
- 2007 - Positive practice environments: Quality workplaces = quality patient care
- 2008 - Delivering Quality, Serving Communities: Nurses Leading Primary Health Care
"The U.S. and Canada celebrate their National Nursing Week each year from May 9 to May 15 each year. It was established in the U.S. by President Richard Nixon in 1974."
How is this holiday celebrated?
- By having a party in honor of nurses! Many people hold special celebration or reception to recognize a nurses in the community. Nurses are honored for heroic acts, years of service to the community.
- Many people celebrate by wearing an RN pin on this day. Also popular is "I love nursing" pins and theme earings-
- Hug a nurse today! Let them know they are appreciated.