International Nurses Day is celebrated on 12th may every year by the nurses all across the world. International Nurses Day was celebrated on 12th May 1974 for the first time which was declared in the month of January on the account of the birth anniversary of the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale. Florence Nightingale, whose birth anniversary is celebrated as International Nurses Day was born on 12th May 1820. During Crimean War in 1850, she became an important figure. She reformed the health care services and nursing at the Barack Hospital, Scutari. In 1860, she opened the Nightingale School of Nursing at the St. Thomas Hospital, London.
In 1953, International Nurses Day was first proposed by Dorothy Sutherland, U.S Department of Health Officer, Education and welfare in the U.S. proposed the celebration of this day which was further declared by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Before 1974, this day was celebrated by International Council of Nurse and in 1974 it was decided to celebrate this day as International Nurses Day every year on 12th May to commemorate with the birthday of Florence Nightingale who is a noted world leader in nursing profession. This event is celebrated every year aiming to increase the public awareness about the nursing and nurses contribution towards the health care innovation as they are the fast and first point of contacting for health services.
On this day, International Nurses Day Kit which includes educational and public information materials to be used by the nurses among public, is prepared and distributed every year while celebrating nurses day and they are encouraged to use this kit throughout the year through their individual or group activity. At the events promotional and educational activities are also organized while celebrating the International Nurses Day annually to address lots of nursing issues. It is celebrated as it is largest healthcare profession in the world and Nurses are the key to achieve Millennium Development Goals. Nurses take care of wellness of the patients through all the aspects like psychosocially, socially and etc. as they are well educated and trained for the same. National Nurses Associations (NNAs) plays a vital role to make a nurse well informed, advised, encouraged and supported to deliver better work. National Nurse Association works to strengthen the health care systems as well as create conditions maximizing the nurses contribution with government and non-government organization.
From 1988, every International Nurses Day celebrated with new theme, they are as follows:
- The theme of 1988 was “Safe Motherhood”.
- The theme of 1989 was “School Health”.
- The theme of 1990 was “Nurses and Environment”.
- The theme of 1991 was “Mental Health – Nurses in Action”.
- The theme of 1992 was “Healthy Aging”.
- The theme of 1993 was “Quality, costs and Nursing”.
- The theme of 1994 was “Healthy Families for Healthy Nation”.
- The theme of 1995 was “Women’s Health: Nurses Pave the Way”.
- The theme of 1996 was “Better Health through Nursing Research”.
- The theme of 1997 was “Healthy Young People = A Brighter Future”.
- The theme of 1998 was “Partnership for Community Health”.
- The theme of 1999 was “Celebrating Nursing’s past, claiming the future”.
- The theme of 2000 was “Nurses – Always there for you”.
- The theme of 2001 was “Nurses, Always There for You: United against Violence”.
- The theme of 2002 was “Nurses Always There for You: Caring for Families”.
- The theme of 2003 was “Nurses: Fighting AIDS stigma, working for all”.
- The theme of 2004 was “Nurses: Working with the Poor; Against Poverty”.
- The theme of 2005 was “Nurses for Patients’ Safety: Targeting counterfeit medicines and substandard medication”.
- The theme of 2006 was “Safe staffing saves lives”.
- The theme of 2007 was “Positive practice environments: Quality workplaces = quality patient care”.
- The theme of 2008 was “Delivering Quality, Serving Communities: Nurses Leading Primary Health Care”.
- The theme of 2009 was “Delivering Quality, Serving Communities: Nurses Leading Care Innovations”.
- The theme of 2010 was “Delivering Quality, Serving Communities: Nurses Leading Chronic Care”.
- The theme of 2011 was “Closing the Gap: Increasing Access and Equity”.
- The theme of 2012 was “Closing the Gap: From Evidence to Action”.
- The theme of 2013 was “Closing the Gap: Millennium Development Goals”.
- The theme of 2014 was: “Nurses: A Force for Change – A Vital Resource for Health”.
- The theme of 2015 was “Nurses: A Force for Change: Care Effective, Cost Effective”.
- The theme of 2016 was “Nurses: A Force for Change: Improving health systems’ resilience”.
- The theme of 2017 is “Nursing: A voice to lead – Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”.