Published: 12th May 2021
What the FAQ: What is the significance of International Nurses Day, why is it celebrated on May 12?
In today's What the FAQ column, we explain the history, significance and the importance of International Nurses Day, celebrated every year on May 12
International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every year on May 12, which is also the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale. It is observed to appreciate all nurses, their commitment, and effort, especially now during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
Here we tell you why this day is important, what is its significance and more.
What is the significance of International Nurses Day?
May 12 is Florence Nightingale’s birth anniversary and is observed as International Nurses Day over the years. She was an English nurse, a social reformer and a statistician who founded the key pillars of modern nursing. She was born on this day in 1820. International Nurses Day assumes great significance in times such as these when we are battling the deadly Coronavirus pandemic. Nurses are the backbone of any hospital or clinic, who are continuously providing high-quality care often working without a break.
What is the history behind this day being celebrated every year?
The celebration of International Nurses Day was started in 1965 by the International Council of Nurses(ICN). This day was initially proposed by Dorothy Sutherland, an official with the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, but it was not approved. Finally, after 20 years, May 12 was chosen as the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale. The International Council of Nurses on this day develops and disseminates the International Nurses Day Kit which consists of public information and educational materials which can be utilised by nurses and the public.
What is this year's theme for International Nurses Day?
The theme for International Nurses Day 2021 is 'Nurses: A Voice to Lead-A Vision for Future Healthcare'. Like doctors and other health care workers, nurses are at the forefront of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and thus this theme has immense significance this year.