The International Nurses Council details the history of International Nurses Day and how to celebrate it.

1. What is International Nurses Day?

The International Nurses council says International Nurses Day is celebrated each May 12 — the anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth. ICN commemorates the day each year with the production and distribution of the International Nurses' Day resources and evidence.

2. What is this year's theme for the International Nurses Day resources guide?

The theme for the 2021 resource is Nurses: A Voice to Lead - A vision for future healthcare. In 2021, we seek to show how nursing will look into the future as well how the profession will transform the next stage of healthcare.

3. What is the goal for International Nurses Day?

The ICN distributes the resource materials to emphasize the dedicated work of nurses worldwide. The materials also serve to raise awareness of issues in the nursing profession, such as economic impacts and ongoing struggles against inadequate pay and work conditions.

4. How did International Nurses Day start?

Dorothy Sutherland, from the US Department of Health, Education and Welfare made a proposal in 1953 to President Dwight Eisenhower to proclaim a Nurse Day for the following year, but it was never made. National Nurse Week took place the next year to observe the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s Crimean mission.

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) proclaimed May 12, 1974 as International Nurse Day, which the organization celebrated for more than a decade prior, before the White House proclaimed National Nurse Week that same year.

New Jersey Governor Brendon Byrne declared May 6 Nurses Day in 1978. The American Nurses Association and other nursing organizations rallied in 1981 to support a resolution from nurses in New Mexico to establish May 6, 1982 as National Recognition Day for Nurses. The ANA board recognized May 6, 1982 as National Nurses Day and President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation designating May 6, 1982 National Recognition Day for Nurses.

5. What is the International Nurses Council?

The International Council of Nurses is a federation of more than 130 national nurses associations representing millions of nurses worldwide. It is operated by nurses and works to ensure quality care and sound health policies.

Trending Video

Recommended for you