2021 is International Nurses Day, a day dedicated to the healthcare professionals, who are assisting us in Covid.
Florence Nightingale, the founding mother of modern nursing, was born on May 12.
Every year on May 12, International Nurses Day is observed to honor the work of healthcare workers, particularly nurses. The International Council of Nurses (ICN) first commemorated the day in 1965. Dorothy Sunderland, a US health, education, and welfare department official, suggested to President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953 that a "Nurses' Day" be declared, but he declined.
The date of May 12th was chosen to commemorate the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, the pioneer of modern nursing, in 1974.
Who was Florence Nightingale?
Nightingale was a social reformer and statistician in addition to being a nurse. She rose to prominence as a result of her work as a nurse during the Crimean War. She worked as a manager and nurse teacher during the war, and she was instrumental in organizing treatment for wounded soldiers in Constantinople. Nursing gained a positive image as a result of her efforts, and she became a Victorian cultural symbol. The establishment of Nightingale's nursing school at St Thomas Hospital in London in 1860 laid the groundwork for modern nursing.
It was the world's first secular nursing school, later becoming part of King's College London. The Florence Nightingale Pledge, which is taken by new nurses, and the Florence Nightingale Medal, which is the highest international award for nurses, were both named in her honor as a result of her pioneering efforts. She also worked to improve the welfare of all parts of British society, called for greater hunger relief for India, and assisted in the repeal of harsh prostitution laws in the United Kingdom. It was only fitting that Nightingale's name was given to the International Nurses Day.
Significance of the day
The damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic was visible in 2020 and 2021. Over 160 million coronavirus cases and over 3 million deaths have been recorded worldwide in the nearly two years since the pandemic started in 2020. The pandemic has put a strain on our healthcare system that has never been seen before. Given the gravity of the situation, our medical personnel — doctors, nurses, and others — have been at the forefront of the fight against the virus and saving lives. Nurses, who have been putting their lives on the line for months, are the backbone of our healthcare system.
Given the fact that nurses make up more than half of all health staff, according to the World Health Organization, there is an acute shortage of nurses worldwide. As of December 31, 2020, Covid-19 had infected over 1.6 million health workers in 34 countries, according to ICN.
In light of this, the International Nurses Day 2021 assumes significance as a way to show our gratitude to nurses and health workers all over the world. Nurses: A Voice to Lead-A Vision for Future Healthcare is the theme for 2021.