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Nursing staff around the world celebrate Nurses’ Day


Nurses around the world will be celebrating International Nurses’ Day today, 12 May, the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.  

The International Council of Nurses, which started the event unofficially back in 1965, has chosen the theme of this year’s Nurses’ Day as Nurses: A Force for Change: Care Effective, Cost Effective.

“Nurses’ Day is a great opportunity for nurses and patients to truly celebrate their vocation”

Peter Carter

Meanwhile, in the UK, the Royal College of Nursing has chosen the theme #WhyInurse, and encourages members of the profession to get involved via the social media site Twitter.

The ICN said its global theme reinforced the fact that global health cannot be achieved without the participation of nurses at “all levels” of the healthcare system.

“Nurses and policy makers must focus on the nursing role as a key priority and determinant for achieving equity, delivering universal health coverage and ultimately improving health outcomes globally,” stated David Benton, ICN chief executive.

“Nurses are well positioned to drive improvements in efficiency and effectiveness,” he said.

The ICN’s toolkit for International Nurses Day provides guidance for nurses and policy makers on how to best achieve equitable access to effective and affordable healthcare services.

The tools, information and ideas for action contained in the kit will assist and encourage nurses and national nurses associations to become engaged in and knowledgeable about health system financing as a means to achieving quality of care and patient safety in a cost effective way.

It includes examples from around the world, which demonstrate what is possible when nurses bring their creativity and professional perspective to the transformation agenda. 

The RCN said its theme was intended to “encourage nursing staff to share the reasons why they do their jobs and what they enjoy most about nursing”.

International Council of Nurses

International Nurses’ Day 2015

Peter Carter, RCN chief executive and general secretary, said: “Nurses’ Day is a great opportunity for nurses and patients to truly celebrate their vocation and the huge difference they make to the lives of millions of people worldwide.

“These are challenging times for nurses so it is great to return to the heart of nursing and reflect on the very special reasons why nurses do what they do,” he said.

The RCN will also be celebrating Nurses’ Day 2015 with a special public lecture, on Wednesday 13 May.

A force for change: What is the modern nurse? will be chaired by BBC Health Correspondent Jane Dreaper, alongside an expert panel including Jane Cummings, chief nursing officer at NHS England.

West Middlesex University Hospital Trust

Nurses from the Philippines and Africa sang and gave a fashion show at West Middlesex University Hospital Trust


Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals Foundation Trust

Awards were given out at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals FT, including to “nurse of year” Jane Gilby (third from right)

Yeovil District Hospital Foundation Trust

The winning cake in Yeovil District Hospital FT’s baking competition


Readers' comments (6)

  • thanks you cards- lol

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  • what nurses' day?

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  • Once again another way of dressing up nursing into some frilly/ silly doctors hand maid. Lets be honest nurses are hardworking, highly skilled professionals who demonstrate skills compassion and dignity every single day along with all our other health professional colleagues who do not parade themselves around in this out dated ritual.I totally support thanking and acknowledging my team for all their hard work they do, but they know it is said with sincerity and not because some has decided we as nurses have a special day. Lets move on its 2016.

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  • Ha! Around the world, my foot? Nobody other than the rcn, NT and perhaps a few around the uk even seem to have heard of it, far less celebrate the day. Where are all these celebrations or even any other mention of it?

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  • Sounds like the invention of some silly twinsets and pearls have been nurses all flustering around the rcn with nothing better to do with their time. A little bit of excitement, with perhaps a cake to celebrate, to change the routine a little of their boring days by giving them a brief change in topic of conversation!

    Happy international Family Day on the 15th, if anyone remembers it!

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  • Actually, nurses day is celebrated in the US and, when I worked in the Middle East, the Americans working there made it into what they would term a 'big deal'!! I sat on the nurses committee and we had to provide a breakfast for every nurse in the hospital - no mean feat. I took it one step further on my unit and had a 'housekeeping day', for the forgotten Sudanese and Somali workers who earned a pittance and worked all the hours there were. It resulted in an extra week's salary (from donations,) a buffet and a paragraph in the hospital magazine. Months later, the article was still up in the housekeeping staff cubby hole, which also served as their break room.
    I wholly agree with anon 0f 11th May 6.13pm.

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