International Nurses Day 2024

International Nurses Day (IND) is celebrated worldwide every May 12 – the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth – to ensure that the invaluable contributions of nurses to the health of people globally are remembered and recognised.

When did International Nurses Day begin?

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

What’s this year’s theme?

Dr Pamela Cipriano, president of the International Council of Nurses (ICN), announced the theme for this year would be ‘The Economic Power Of Care’.

This was chosen to highlight the need for nursing to be seen as an investment, instead of a cost, and to “reshape” perceptions of nursing’s economic and societal benefits. Dr Cipriano said she hoped the theme could raise the profile of underfunding in nursing more broadly.

“Despite being the backbone of healthcare, nursing often faces financial constraints and societal undervaluation,” said Dr Cipriano. “We believe now is the time for a shift in perspective.”

Countries around the world celebrate IND 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 and is placed on the High Altar. This symbolises the passing of knowledge from one nurse to another.

At Spectrum, it’s an extra day to celebrate our fabulous nurses in over 30 sites across the North.

Click the buttons at the bottom of this page to either visit ICN’s official IND campaign page, take part in a nursing quiz, or read about the nursing journeys of some Spectrum colleagues.

But first, here’s a message from our interim Executive Director of Nursing Angela Star and interim Deputy Director of Nursing Suzanne Birbeck.

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