International Nurses Day is celebrated worldwide every May 12th – the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

This event is coordinated by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) to ensure that the invaluable contributions of nurses to the health of people globally are recognised. ICN commemorates this important day each year with the production and distribution of the International Nurses’ Day (IND) resources and evidence.

As part of IND, Spectrum has signed up to be a member of the Florence Nightingale Foundation.
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What is International Nurses Day?

IND is a global celebration that acknowledges and celebrates the commitment and bravery of nurses around the world. In 2022, the theme of IND has been set by the ICN as ‘Nurses: A Voice To Lead – Invest In Nursing And Respect Rights To Secure Global Health.’ You can learn more about International Nurses Day 2022 and other ICN events by visiting their website here.

When did International Nurses Day begin?

IND has been celebrated by the ICN since 1965. However, it wasn’t until 1974 when May 12th was chosen to celebrate this day, coinciding with the anniversary of the birth of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale.

How is International Nurses Day celebrated?

Each year, the ICN prepares and distributes the International Nurses’ Day kit, containing valuable educational and public information materials that can be used by nurses around the world.

However, countries around the world celebrate this occasion in their own ways. For example, in the UK, there is a service held each year in Westminster Abbey in London, where a symbolic lamp is passed between nurses until it reaches the Nurses’ Chapel in the Abbey where it is then placed on the High Altar. This symbolises the passing of knowledge from one nurse to another.

Below, you can read about some of the most famous nurses in history, as well as a prison nurse interview from the eyes of a newly qualified nurse at Spectrum.