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Why International Nurses Day is Celebrated Each May
PaulineB
May 15, 2024

From helping welcome newborns into the world to providing comfort and convenience to patients on their deathbeds, nurses serve as the “backbone of healthcare” and make up the largest portion of the healthcare workforce.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are 29 million nurses globally. Every May 12, companies worldwide mark International Nurses Day, while the US kicks off the festivities a week earlier, beginning May 6, with National Nurses Week. 

Both celebrations aim to spread awareness about and help seek solutions to the challenges that nurses everywhere face every day. Both are observed in May, and the reason behind it dates back to the birth of the British statistician, social reformer, and the foundational philosopher of modern nursing.

Commemorating the founder of modern nursing

Florence Nightingale is the inspiration behind the dedication of the month of May to nurses around the globe. 

Born on May 12, 1980, in Florence, Italy, her experiences in nursing British and allied forces during the Crimean War (1853-1856) became foundational for her views about sanitation and proper patient care.

Spending several hours in wards conducting night rounds, while providing personal care to wounded soldiers gave her the moniker “Lady with the Lamp.”

Later on, she founded the first scientifically based nursing school, the Nightingale School of Nursing at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London in her effort to formalize nursing education. The school opened in 1860.

Florence Nightingale also played a vital role in training midwives and nurses in workhouse infirmaries.  

For her courage, compassion, and all the efforts that proceeded out of her will to aid others in need of medical attention, she became the first woman ever to be awarded the Order of Merit in 1907. 

The importance of nurses

The WHO esteems nurses and midwives as “central to Primary Health Care” being the first — and sometimes, only — health professionals that patients in different communities get to see. 

Thus, it is paramount that nurses get the proper training, support, and benefits to elevate the quality of their initial assessment, care, and treatment they provide. Nurses are also shapers of effective medical interventions in their local community as they partake in its culture, strengths, and weaknesses. 

Over 80% of the world’s nurses provide care in nations that house half of the world’s population, and one out of eight nurses works in a country where they were neither born nor trained. 

WHO also reported that higher levels of female nurses “positively correlated with health service coverage and life expectancy and negatively correlated with infant mortality.”

To all the nurses across the world who continue to dedicate themselves to their noble profession, especially those who provide consistent, exceptional service to our hospice patients, Solano Care Hospice celebrates National Nurses Week and International Nurses Day with you with great appreciation and the best of our wishes.

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Commentator
January 1, 2022
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Commentator
January 1, 2022
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Commentator
January 1, 2022
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Commentator
January 1, 2022
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