Thu 12 May 2022:
Nurses Day is a special day to honour and celebrate the contributions of nurses all over the world. The day is celebrated on Florence Nightingale’s birth anniversary on May 12 every year.
The special day was chosen by the International Council of Nurses and has been observed officially since 1974. The inspiration behind the day is the iconic Florence Nightingale, the British nurse and social reformer who dedicated her life to the improvement of the health sector. This year, the theme for Nurses Day is “Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Invest in Nursing and respect rights to secure global health.”
In 1953, an official with the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Dorothy Sutherland proposed the idea of Nurses Day to then President Dwight D Eisenhower.
Then in 1974, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) declared May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday, to be International Nurses Day. President Richard Nixon declared ‘National Nurse Week’ the following year.
During the Crimean War in the 1850s, Florence Nightingale rose to prominence as a nurse. She was stationed at a hospital where she was in charge of a group of nurses caring for injured British soldiers.
When she initially arrived at the hospital, she was struck by how bad the facilities were, so she established stringent standards of care and made sure the wards were maintained clean and well-stocked with food and medical supplies. In 1860, she laid the foundation of the Nightingale School of Nursing in London.
This day is dedicated to honouring and respecting nurses who work persistently to ensure the wellbeing of their patients. Nurses have traditionally been the backbone of society, working tirelessly to deliver the best possible healthcare to patients.
Why is May 12 celebrated as Nurses Day?
In 1953, Dorothy Sutherland of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare proposed to the erstwhile president to proclaim Nurses Day in October. However, the proposal was not approved.
Following this, Frances P. Bolton, the first woman elected to Congress from Ohio, also sponsored a bill for National Nurse Week. But it was only 20 years later, in February 1974, that President Nixon announced a National Nurse Week, from May 6 to May 12 every year. With this, May 12 also began to be recognised as Nurses Day.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
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