- International Nurses Day marks birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale
- Florence Nightingale is widely regarded as the founder of modern nursing
- The day honours the contributions made by nurses in the society
New Delhi: International Nurses Day is observed on May 12 every year to honour the contributions made by nurses in society. The International Council of Nurses (ICN) commemorates this important day each year with the production and distribution of the International Nurses’ Day (IND) resources and evidence. The day also marks the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale – one of history’s most famous nurses, who is widely regarded as the founder of modern nursing. The International Council of Nurses (ICN) believes that it is important to show the world who nurses are, what they do, and why we should invest in this vital resource.
ICN wants the voice of nursing to be heard around the globe, to spread the word about our great profession and how it contributes to the health of populations. As carers, healers, educators, leaders and advocates, nurses are fundamental to the provision of safe, accessible and affordable care, reads the aim of ICN.
Here are a few things to know about International Nurses Day and nurses, the frontline warriors in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
International Nurses Day 2021: History, Theme, And Significance
International Nurses Day has been celebrated by the International Council of Nurses since 1965. The theme this year is, ‘Nurses: A voice to lead – A vision for future healthcare’. This year the day aims to look back and reflect on the impact of COVID-19 on the health system and the nursing profession and how this will affect the future of healthcare.
Who Is Florence Nightingale?
Born in 1820 in Italy, Florence Nightingale is regarded as the founder of modern nursing. She took care of wounded British and allied soldiers in Turkey during the Crimean War. Her nightly rounds to look after her patients established her image as the “Lady with a lamp”. It was Florence Nightingale’s efforts to formalise nursing education that led to the establishment of the first scientifically based nursing school-the Nightingale School of Nursing, at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.
The Role Of Nurses During COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the lives of healthcare workers who have been at the forefront of the fight for over a year now. As per ICN, now more than ever, health, economies and societies are heavily influenced by nurses who are on the frontlines battling COVID-19 whilst continuing to improve access to quality and affordable healthcare.
As a result of COVID, health systems and healthcare are under enormous strain. However, in response to this pressure, healthcare is on the brink of large-scale disruption and innovation. As the largest provider of healthcare services, nurses are leading this revolution of the healthcare system. #IND2021, Nurses: A Voice to Lead – A vision for future healthcare, looks at the challenges nursing faces and how the profession will transform the next stage of healthcare, reads the statement on ICN’s website.
The Need To Protect Nurses And Promote Nursing: World View
1. One out of six of the world’s nurses are expected to retire in the next 10 years, meaning that 4.7 million new nurses will have to be educated.
2. International Council of Nurses estimates the COVID-19 effect added to the current shortage and ageing of the nursing workforce, could lead to a potential shortfall of up to 13 million nurses by 2030.
3. The long term impacts of COVID-19 including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and long COVID are currently unknown but could be extremely significant, says ICN.
4. 90 per cent of National Nursing Associations (NNAs) are somewhat or extremely concerned that heavy workloads, insufficient resourcing, burnout and stress related to pandemic response are the drivers resulting in increased numbers of nurses who have left the profession and increased reported rates of intention to leave this year and when the pandemic is over.
Sustainable Development Goal 3
For all countries to reach Sustainable Development Goal 3 on health and well-being, WHO estimates that the world will need an additional 9 million nurses and midwives by the year 2030.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.