International Nurses Day

International Nurses Day Information For Kids

International Nurses Day is observed world wide in order to commemorate the valuable contribution of nurses in the form of their selfless services to the society. May 12 also marks the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

International Council of Nurses (ICN) conducts special celebration for the day in the unique form. ICN produces and distributes special International Nurses’ Day (IND) Kit. The kit contains educational and public information materials, for use by nurses everywhere.

Many hospitals and health centers organize various seminars for the promotions of health care and the day also holds special importance for nurses all over the world to feel honored and raise the profile of their work, just a time for them to celebrate their profession.


It all began in 1953, when Dorothy Sutherland, an official with the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, contacted President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposing he proclaim a “Nurses’ Day”. However, he did not approve her proposal at that time. The International Council of Nurses has celebrated on May 12th since 1965.

May 12th is an important date to all nurses, as it is the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, who is widely considered the founder of modern nursing. In January 1974, this day was finally officially made International Nurses Day. Each year since then, ICN prepares and distributes something called the International Nurses’ Day Kit which contains educational and public information materials, for use by nurses everywhere.

How to Celebrate:

Because this day is all about celebrating nurses’ endless contributions to society, take this opportunity to show a nurse who has taken care of you how much you appreciate him or her. As with most gestures of appreciation, whatever you decide to do need not be grand or cost much money. Sad as it is, many people neglect to thank their nurses at all, seeing them only as robots who only know how to follow the doctor’s orders, so every little way to say a simple “thank you” will definitely make that nurse’s day.

If you are feeling especially grateful for the way a certain nurse took care of you (fed you, brought you a blanket, cleaned vomit off of you, monitored your vital signs, made sure you were getting the right pills, changed your wound dressings, helped you get to the bathroom, let you cry on his or her shoulder, or any of the hundreds of other things nurses do), today is the day to show that gratitude. So take a trip down to the hospital with a box of chocolates, a nice bottle of wine, or anything else you think that particular nurse might like.

Some people, after having spent months in the hospital with a serious condition, decide to order pizza or cake for the entire medical team that was looking after them, a gesture that that team is guaranteed to remember you for forever, if you should decide on it. However, as mentioned before, it’s the thought that counts the most. A nurse’s main goal is to help you get through treatment and get better, so just knowing he or she succeeded is a reward in itself.


It is celebrated annually on 12th of May to celebrate the birth anniversary of the modern nursing founder, the Florence Nightingale. Nursing is the largest health care profession in the world and nurses are the key of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). Nurses are well trained and educated for maintaining the health and wellness of the patients through all the aspects like psychosocially, socially and etc.

Nurses have deep practical knowledge of delivering best health care services. National nurses associations (NNAs) play an important role in making nurses well informed, advised, encouraged and supported to deliver better work. NNAs works with the governments and non-government organizations to strengthen the health care systems as well as create conditions maximizing the nurses contribution.

International Council of Nurses celebrates this event aiming to increase the public awareness about the nursing and nurses contribution towards the health care innovation. Nurses are the fast and first point of contacting for health services. Nurses are innovatively practiced to provide free health checkup to the industries indicating their willingness of improving the health of staffs, to meet all the local needs, to improve the physical, mental and well-being of the patients and etc.

Photo Gallery:

Nurses offer prayer to Florence Nightingale, on the occasion of International Nurses Day.

International Nurses Day: Theme

Every year theme of the International Nurses Day celebration is mentioned below:

  • 1988: Safe Motherhood
  • 1989: School Health
  • 1990: Nurses and Environment
  • 1991: Mental Health – Nurses in Action
  • 1992: Healthy Aging
  • 1993: Quality, costs and Nursing
  • 1994: Healthy Families for Healthy Nation
  • 1995: Women’s Health: Nurses Pave the Way
  • 1996: Better Health through Nursing Research
  • 1997: Healthy Young People = A Brighter Future
  • 1998: Partnership for Community Health
  • 1999: Celebrating Nursing’s past, claiming the future
  • 2000: Nurses – Always there for you
  • 2001: Nurses, Always There for You: United against Violence
  • 2002: Nurses Always There for You: Caring for Families
  • 2003: Nurses: Fighting AIDS stigma, working for all
  • 2004: Nurses: Working with the Poor; Against Poverty
  • 2005: Nurses for Patients’ Safety: Targeting counterfeit medicines and substandard medication
  • 2006: Safe staffing saves lives
  • 2007: Positive practice environments: Quality workplaces = quality patient care
  • 2008: Delivering Quality, Serving Communities: Nurses Leading Primary Health Care
  • 2009: Delivering Quality, Serving Communities: Nurses Leading Care Innovations
  • 2010: Delivering Quality, Serving Communities: Nurses Leading Chronic Care
  • 2011: Closing the Gap: Increasing Access and Equity
  • 2012: Closing the Gap: From Evidence to Action
  • 2013: Closing the Gap: Millennium Development Goals
  • 2014: “Nurses: A Force for Change – A Vital Resource for Health
  • 2015: Nurses: A Force for Change: Care Effective, Cost Effective
  • 2016: Nurses: A Force for Change: Improving health systems’ resilience
  • 2017: Nursing: A voice to lead – Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals
  • 2018: Nurses A Voice to Lead – Health is a Human right
  • 2019: Nursing: The Balance of Mind, Body, and Spirit
  • 2020: Nursing the World to Health
  • 2021: Nurses: A Voice to Lead – A vision for future healthcare
  • 2022: Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Invest in Nursing and respect rights to secure global health

International Nurses Day Quotes:

Some of the quotes on international nurses day are mentioned below:

  • “If love can’t cure it, nurses can”.
  • “Nurses dispense comfort, compassion, and caring with or without even a prescription”. ~ Val Saintsbury
  • “Nurses are the hospitality of the hospital”. ~ Carrie Lafet
  • “A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed”. ~ Henrik Ibsca
  • “Nurses are the heartbeat of Healthcare”.
  • “Women have no sympathy and my experience of women is almost as large as Europe”. ~ Florence Nightingale
  • “Apprehension, uncertainty, waiting, expectation, fear of surprise, do a patient more harm than any exertion”. ~ Florence Nightingale
  • “Panic plays no part in the training of a nurse”. ~ Elizabeth Kenny
  • “I have lived and slept in the same bed with English countesses and Prussian farm women… no woman has excited passions among women more than I have”. ~ Florence Nightingale
  • “Hospitals are only an intermediate stage of civilization”. ~ Florence Nightingale
  • “Some minds remain open long enough for the truth not only to enter but to pass on through by way of a ready exit without pausing anywhere along the route”. ~ Elizabeth Kenny
  • “She said the object and color in the materials around us actually have a physical effect on us, on how we feel”. ~ Florence Nightingale

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