International Nurses Day 2021


Wednesday, 12 May 2021



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What Is International Nurses Day?

International Nurses Day feels more important than ever in 2021 amidst the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic although it is understood that nurses deserve to be celebrated every day of the week, year-round.

International Nurses Day is celebrated on 12 May every year and serves to bring appreciation and awareness to the occupation of nursing. This year the day and dates are Wednesday, 12 May 2021.

International Nurses Day is the birthday of Florence Nightingale, a famed British nurse known as the founder of nursing. She wrote more than 150 books on health-related topics, started the St. Thomas’ Hospital, and transformed health care throughout the 19th century.

The goal of International Nurses Day is to recognise the importance of nurses, celebrate and promote the profession, and highlight issues confronting them. The day is used to celebrate and promote the profession of nursing as well as bring awareness to issues role they play in our society.

Who Founded International Nurses Day?

International Nurses Day was founded in 1974 by the International Council of Nurses (ICN). The ICN was founded in 1899 and is the largest international organisation for health professionals in the world. It is a federation including nurses associations in more than 130 countries, representing more than 27 million nurses in total. This organisation is lead and operated by nurses to ensure quality health policies and nursing care on a global level.

Does International Nurses Day Have a Theme?

International Nurses Day 2021 features the theme Nurses: A Voice to Lead – A Vision for Future Healthcare. It feels especially important to citizens around the globe this year as nurses have served as a guiding light throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s theme was chosen to show how the profession of nursing is expected to look in the future and how nursing will transform the healthcare industry. Important topics to be address include:

  • Burnout and stress in the profession of nursing
  • The nursing shortage and retaining nurses in the profession
  • COVID-19 deaths and infections among nurses and healthcare workers

Previous years’ themes were:

  • 2020 – Nurses: A voice to lead – Nursing the World to Health
  • 2019 – Nurses: A voice to lead – Health for All
  • 2018 – Nurses: A voice to lead – Health is a Human Right
  • 2017 – Nurses: A voice to lead – Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

Why Take Part in International Nurses Day?

Taking part in International Nurses Day shows nurses around the globe that we appreciate and recognise the impact they have on society, during the COVID-19 pandemic and always.

Nurses are constantly making critical decisions, tending to the needs of every patient, healing, and comforting to the best of their abilities. Many nurses do not receive the recognition they deserve and taking part in International Nurses Day is just one way to offer such recognition.

This international day of awareness can also help improve the profession of nursing. The goal of this year’s event is to address the issues of burnout and excessive stress among nurses as well as the many health risks healthcare professionals face. Bringing awareness to such topics will encourage society to improve the nursing experience and help combat the worldwide shortage of nurses.

How to Celebrate International Nurses Day

Celebrating International Nurses Day can take many forms. It can be as simple as holding a celebration or purchasing gifts for a group of nurses you love. You can also take part in International Nurses Day events happening around the globe from city events and proclamations to honorary banquets and hospital contests in which proceeds go directly to nurses and nursing scholarships.

Celebrating International nurses day has the ability to transform the life of a single nurse as well as the profession as a whole.


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