Today, as we celebrate International Nurses Day, it has never been clearer how vital role nurses play.
2020 also marks 200 years since the birth of Florence Nightingale, who established the principles of modern nursing and hospital sanitation.
The theme “Nursing the World to Health” for International Nurses Day of 2020 is very accurate given the challenging conditions of COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) has designated 2020 as The Year of the Nurse and Midwife to emphasise the vital role these positions play in providing health services. These are the people who devote their lives to caring for mothers and children; giving lifesaving immunisations and health advice; looking after older people and generally meeting everyday essential health needs. They are often, the first and only point of care in their communities.
As WHO defines, “Nursing encompasses autonomous and collaborative care of individuals of all ages, families, groups and communities, sick or well and in all settings. It includes the promotion of health, the prevention of illness, and the care of ill, disabled and dying people.”
Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are able to witness firsthand the vital role nurses play.
International Nurses Day – 12th of May
The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has celebrated this day since 1965. In 1974, 12th of May was chosen to celebrate the day as it is the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.
Florence Nightingale came to prominence while serving as a manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War, in which she organised care for wounded soldiers. She gave nursing a favourable reputation and became an icon of Victorian culture, especially in the persona of “The Lady with the Lamp” making rounds of wounded soldiers at night.
In 1860, Nightingale laid the foundation of professional nursing with the establishment of her nursing school at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. It was the first secular nursing school in the world.
2020 marks 200 years passing of Florence Nightingale’s birth.