New Delhi: Each year International Nurses Day is celebrated on May 12, on the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale.
This year, the day is all the more significant, in light of all the incessant caring that the healthcare workers have provided during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nurses make a big chunk of them.
According to the International Council of Nurses (ICN), till 31 December 2020, more than 1.6 million healthcare workers in 34 countries have been infected by COVID-19.
“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,” states World Health Organization (WHO).
Who was Florence Nightingale?
Florence Nightingale was an English nurse born on May 12, 1820. She is regarded as the founder of the key pillars of modern nursing. Nightingale gained fame after she relentlessly served the soldiers during the Crimean War.
Nightingale was the manager and trainer of nurses during the war.
In 1860 she founded St Thomas’ Hospital and the Nightingale Training School for Nurses, which laid the foundation for modern nursing.
History of International Nurses Day
In 1953, Dorothy Sunderland, a US health official proposed to President Dwight D. Eisenhower to proclaim a ‘Nurses’ Day’ which he did not approve. However, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) has been observing the day since 1965.
In 1974, it officially got approval from the US government and May 12 was chosen to honour Florence Nightingale.