World Celebrates Nurses Day

World Celebrates Nurses Day

On 12 May the world celebrates International Nurses Day. Nursing is one of the most in-demand and at the same time most under-invested in professions globally. Today, its importance is acknowledged and highlighted.


You may also like: World Health Day: State of the World’s Nursing Report


International Nurses Day is observed each year on 12 May marking the anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth (200th this year). The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has celebrated this day since 1965.

According to
Iris Meyenburg-Altwarg, Managing Director of Nursing and Director of the Academy for Nursing Education & Training at Hannover Medical University and President of European Nurse Directors Association (ENDA), nurses play a vital role in providing health services. “They devote their lives to caring and often stand as the first and only point of care in their communities. Nurses play a critical role in health promotion, disease prevention, emergency care and primary and community care delivery. … Their various roles as caregivers, coordinators, leader communicators, managers, family planners, educators, counsellors, record keepers and supervisors are appreciable. It is very essential to acknowledge, appreciate and address their contribution in challenging global health and nursing care,” she says.

To celebrate International Nurses Day, the World Health Organization (WHO)/Europe has published “Competencies for nurses working in primary health care,” a set of resources aimed at strengthen primary health-care nursing workforce across the world. The publication is intended for policy-makers, instructors, managers and clinicians involved in nurses’ competencies development in primary healthcare.

Five competence clusters are covered in the document:

  • Patient advocacy and education
  • Effective communication
  • Teamwork and leadership
  • People-centred care and clinical practice
  • Continuous learning and research.

WHO/Europe has also started developing a series of primary healthcare case studies. The first three include Ireland, Poland and Slovenia.

Back in April, WHO released the first ever State of the World’s Nursing 2020 Report in the context of The Year of the Nurse and the Midwife celebrated in 2020. The document analyses the data on nursing from over 190 countries and concludes with recommendations to national governments, such as to build leadership, stewardship and management capacity for the nursing workforce; adopt supporting policies in various sectors; and promote additional investment in nursing education, skills and jobs.

Image credit: Akhmad Muntaha via iStock

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Published on : Tue, 12 May 2020

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Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, World Health Organization (WHO), International Nurses Day World Celebrates Nurses Day

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