Did you know that today is International Nurses Day, a day set aside to appreciate the people who dedicate their lives to nursing? International Nurses Day is celebrated every year on May 12 as it coincides with the birth date of Florence Nightingale, the woman credited with the launch of modern nursing in the late 1800s.
Though the date is always the same, International Nurses Day celebrates a different theme on each anniversary. The theme for this year’s International Nurses Day is Nurses: A Voice to Lead – A Vision for Future Healthcare. Nurses are at the forefront of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Like doctors and other healthcare workers, nurses are continuously providing high quality care often working without a break.
Nurses represent one of the largest work forces in the entire world. Nurses are the backbone of the hospitals and clinics taking care of the millions of COVID-19 patients for months putting their lives at risk. According to the WHO, ”nurses account for more than half of all the world’s health workers, yet there is an urgent shortage of nurses worldwide with 5.9 million (2020) more nurses still needed, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
The organizers of International Nurses Day encourage people to recognize that nurses play an important role in improving or expanding health services across the world.
Take a few minutes aside today to recognize the importance of nurses. We’ve all relied on at least one in our lives!