Unfortunately, many people seem to think that the most important people in the healthcare system are the doctors, but this is simply not true. Ever the underdog, nurses play a key role in all of our medical institutions, being responsible for the welfare, safety and recovery of patients.

Nurses have an enormous amount of knowledge and many diverse skills they spend years perfecting and developing, all the time working in decidedly tough environments where extreme stress is just a part of the job. Nurses help bring new life into the world, care tirelessly for the sick and injured, and sometimes watch the patients they did everything to save pass away despite their best efforts.

On many occasions, it was a vigilant nurse who noticed a mistake in a doctor’s prescription in time to save someone’s life. Acknowledge the hard work, long hours, and emotional duress that are part of the life of every nurse on International Nurses Day.

Learn about International Nurses Day

International Nurses Day has been created so that we can pay honor and tribute to all of the nurses around the world and the incredible work they do. It is crazy to think about a world without nurses. Who would be there to care for us when we’re not feeling well? Nurses bring so much to our lives, and the lives of the people that we love, and so it is only right that we have a day that honors them and recognizes all of their efforts!

Nurses have a very varied role and they are responsible for a number of different things in the workplace. This includes writing care plans for patients, assisting with evaluations and tests, setting up blood transfusions and drips, checking and administering drugs and injections, observing and recording the condition of patients. They will also maintain patient records, mentor junior and student nurses, organise staff, and reassure patients and their relatives. This merely scratches the surface! From responding quickly to emergencies to planning hospital discharges and carrying out routine investigations, the list goes on! Nurses certainly have a huge role to play when it comes to the health and wellbeing of people all around the world.

History of International Nurses Day

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.

There is a different theme that is attributed to International Nurses Day every year. We would recommend taking a look at the theme, as this will give you a better understanding of the focus and could even help you to decide what you are going to do to celebrate International Nurses Day. For example, one of the recent themes was “Nursing the world to health.” This theme was designed to focus on the real value that nurses bring to people all over the globe. A lot of the major organizations around the world that embrace this date will use the theme to guide their celebrations and activities.

How to celebrate International Nurses Day

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.

As the day has been chosen because it is the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birthday, you may want to spend some time researching more about Florence Nightingale and everything that she achieved. There are a lot of online resources, as well as plenty of books that have been published as well. Florence Nightingale is created with being the founder of modern nursing. She served as a trainer and manager of nurses throughout the Crimean War, organizing care for soldiers who had been wounded in battle. This resulted in her being an icon of Victorian culture, giving nurses a favorable reputation. 

Florence also laid the foundations for professional nursing when she established a nursing school in 1860. This was in London at St Thomas’ Hospital. Today, it is part of King’s College London. Back then, it was the world’s very first secular nursing school, which is quite some achievement! This merely scratches the surface of her achievements. Her social reforms include expanding female participation in the workforce, helping to eradicate prostitution laws that were hard for women, advocating improved hunger relief in India, and improving healthcare for all sections of society in Britain.

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