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Nurses across UK celebrate International Nurses Day


Nurses across the UK and around the world have been celebrating International Nurses Day today in a variety of ways.

This year’s theme set by the International Council of Nurses was “Nurses: A force for change – improving health systems’ resilience”.

International Council of Nurses

Nurses across UK celebrate International Nurses Day

The ICN’s 2016 toolkit

The ICN stressed the need for nurses to contribute to developing strong and resilient health systems locally, nationally and globally.

As it does each year, the council published an information and action toolkit to accompany its theme.

The kit examines the many ways in which nurses can contribute to developing strong and resilient health systems, and provides guidance for nurses and policy makers, said the ICN.

Its tools, information and ideas for action will “assist and encourage nurses and national nurses’ associations to become engaged in policy”, said the council.

ICN president Dr Judith Shamian said: “As the single largest group of health professionals, with a presence in all settings, nurses can make an enormous impact on the resilience of health systems.

International Council of Nurses

Nurses across UK celebrate International Nurses Day

Judith Shamian

“By promoting the nursing voice, we can help guide improvements in the quality of health service delivery and inform health systems strengthening,” she said.

ICN chief executive Dr Frances Hughes added: “It is our duty to ensure that governments and policymakers understand that confident, well-informed nursing leaders – who understand their role in developing a workforce to meet new challenges – are essential to ensure the success of the sustainable development goals and to meet the health challenges of the future.”

Meanwhile, the Royal College of Nursing, which is no longer part of the ICN, promoted the annual celebration of nursing under the banner of “Thank you for all you do”.

It called on its members and the public to use the social media site Twitter to say: “Thank you to nursing staff around the world for the amazing care you give.”

The RCN was celebrating the 100th Nurses Day in the college’s history and held a special event in Cavendish Square outside RCN headquarters to mark the centenary.

janet davies

janet davies

Janet Davies

Janet Davies, RCN chief executive and general secretary, said: “Nurses’ Day is one of my favourite days of the year, as it gives everyone the chance to celebrate the thousands of dedicated nurses from all over the world.

“This Nurses’ Day is a doubly special occasion for the RCN as we’re celebrating 100 years of the college and the profession,” she noted.

“Thank you to each and every nurse throughout history that has made this the fantastic profession that it is today and for the dedicated care and compassion that nurses working today show day in and day out,” she said.

Nurses up and down the country also held events and local celebrations, while a number of nurse leaders around the country also issued statements in support of the profession.


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Ruth May

Ruth May, executive director of nursing at NHS Improvement, said: “Each and every day, tens of thousands of nurses and midwives are hard at work across England making a real difference to the lives of patients and their families.

“I hope everyone will take the opportunity of International Nurses Day to thank the nurses and midwives who have made a difference for them,” she said.

“We owe our nurses and midwives a real debt of gratitude and I want to personally thank all my colleagues and wish them a happy International Nurses Day,” she said during a visit to London North West Healthcare NHS Trust.



Readers' comments (5)

  • 'International'? Only a handful in Britain and perhaps some other Anglo-Saxon and English-speaking lands have even heard of it. So much for all the events and celebrations!

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  • Anonymous 8.32. I disagree - I took part in the organisation of an event last year which aimed to reach out to nurses in their workplace - speaking to a large number of nurses about what they do, having "drop in" sessions, learning events celebrating nursing in all its forms, as well as setting up a nursing cafe with home-made cakes and tea/coffee to anyone who called by. Taking a very small amount of time to say thank you to nurses is worth doing when you consider the pressures on them the rest of the time, and the positive examples collected of what nursing meant to those nurses was illuminating.

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  • Phil noyes! there is little point in disagreeing with the facts and then go on to presumably only refer to the the uk. Try reading the comments before agreeing or disagreeing with them!

    As I said, outside the country, internationally, there are a good number of nurses and others that have never heard of it! And it is thus not acknowledged. As I said, it is a very Anglo-Saxon thing!

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  • Hi - was responding to the words "only a handful in Britain" - though perhaps we have big hands...

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  • If anyone wants to say thank you to nurses and all the other health care professions I suggest a REAL pay rise. Not one that is more than swallowed by NI contributions and I will buy my own slice of cake!

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