International Nurses Day, May 12th

International Nurses Day is observed annually on May 12th. It is a day to thank nurses for their selfless dedication, recognize their essential work, and highlight their significance in times of crisis and everyday life. It serves as a platform to highlight the significant role of nurses in the health system, urge countries to ensure occupational safety for nurses, and allow access to mental health support due to their work.

The day was initiated by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) in 1965 and has been celebrated annually since 1974, on Florence Nightingale‘s birthday – the founder of modern nursing.


According to the world health organization (WHO), more than half of all the world’s health workers are nurses, yet there is a shortage of 5.9 million nurses worldwide.

Each year, the ICN selects a theme to highlight on the day, such as Safe Motherhood, Health is a Human right, working with the Poor, Health for All, and Nurses: A Voice to Lead – A vision for future healthcare. Every year, the ICN distributes an International Nurses’ Day Kit, which includes educational and public information materials for raising awareness of various issues in the nursing profession.




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