Happy International Nurses Day

May is a significant month for nurses, in fact, it’s widely considered to be national nurses month. May 6 is the start of nursing week, when nurses are celebrated for their hard work, leading up to International Nurses Day on May 12.

Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s observances:

A significant date

On May 12 of each year the world comes together to the contributions nurses make to society. But why May 12? Speakers for Nurses explained that this is the date of Florence Nightingale’s birthday, a familiar figure widely known as the founder of modern nursing.

For the nursing community, May 12 is a significant date and the fixed day allows nursing groups, staffing agencies and health care facilities to coordinate activities for the entire week cohesively around the globe. As an internationally recognized occasion, International Nurses Day is something many nurses look forward to year-round.

This year’s theme

On Oct. 24, 2019 the International Council of Nurses (ICN) released the theme for International Nurses Day 2020. There was much anticipation surrounding the announcement as it would mark the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth and the World Health Organization had previously designated 2020 as ‘The Year of the Nurse.’

ICN leads the celebrations and festivities for International Nurses Day and chose the 2020 theme to be Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Nursing the World to Health. With a focus on how nurses bring value to everyone around the globe, ICN hoped the theme would demonstrate how nurses are vital for addressing a wide range of global health challenges.

Of course, the theme of International Nurses Day 2020 was decided upon before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the world, but could not be more fitting for the current situation. Every day, nurses are making invaluable contributions to public health and are vital for promoting such efforts on the front line of a global pandemic.

compassionate nurse checking pulse

What to expect

Perhaps more than ever, this year’s International Nurses Day highlights the power of nurses and the impact they have on global health. While celebrations may look a little different than the ICN planned this year, nursing students, new nurses and veteran caretakers can expect an outpouring of love on an international scale on May 12.

In the year’s past, ICN explained that the world’s National Nursing Associations would organize local events throughout the month and have guest speakers during nurses week. They always encourage the public to participate in the celebration and have used the opportunity to educate everyone about the importance of nurses and inspire the next generation of health care workers.

International Nurses Day is the perfect time to tell nurses how much you appreciate the work they do to protect and promote public health.

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