International Nurses Day 2017: Nursing: A voice to lead – Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals


Working in the world’s largest healthcare profession, nurses play a vital role in ensuring the recovery of patients. They are trained to deal with all types of health problems, whether mental, physical, social, or psychological, and are said to be the key to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

International Nurses Day 2017

The National Nurses Associations (NNAs) ensure that all nurses are well informed, advises, motivated, and supported to deliver competent results. Through the help of the government and non-government organizations, these associations go a long way towards strengthening our health care systems and creating favourable working conditions for nurses.

International Nurses Day is sponsored by the International Council of Nurses. Its main purpose is to raise public awareness about the contribution of nurses and the nursing profession in health care innovation. Innovation can apply to processes, tools, and technologies, as well as the way nurses or organizations behave, act, or work. It’s all about working together to achieve the best outcomes for the patients. Nursing innovations are important when addressing current and future international health challenges. These challenges include workforce shortages, inadequate resources, poverty, and an upsurge in non-communicable diseases, malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and age populations.

Nurses are usually the first point of contact when someone is admitted to the hospital, and are tasked with the responsibility of administering free health check-up to relevant industries in order to improve the health of staffs, meet all the local requirements, and boost the mental, physical, and overall wellbeing of patients.

History of International Nurses Day

International Nurses Day is celebrated every 12th May across the world to coincide with the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. The event was initially suggested in 1953 by an officer from the U.S Department of Health, Education and Welfare named Dorothy Sutherland. It was then announced publicly by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, but it wasn’t until 1965 that the International Council of Nurses celebrated the first International Nurses Day.

Florence Nightingale was the foundational philosopher of modern nursing. Her date of birth, May 12, was chosen as the International Nurses Day to celebrate her dedication in highlighting the importance of nurses. During the 1850’s, she became a significant figure in the nursing profession, particularly after the Crimean War. She was stationed at Scutari, working at the Barrack Hospital, from where she reformed nursing and health care services and subsequently opened the Nightingale School of Nursing in 1860.

There are several educational and promotional activities that take place while celebrating the International Nurses Day, mostly addressing nursing issues. The theme that is chosen is based on nurses and the environment, poverty issues, and several other factors. The event takes an entire week in many countries such as Canada, United States, Australia, and so forth. This week is referred to as the National Nurses Week.

How to Celebrate International Nurses Day

The theme for 2017’s International Nurses Day is “Nursing: A voice to lead – Achieving Sustainable Development Goals”. Since this day is designated to celebrate nurses’ contribution to the society, you can take this opportunity to appreciate a nurse who has been especially caring to you or someone you know. You don’t have to spend a lot of money as a gesture of appreciation. Even a simple, heartfelt thank you can go a long way.

You’d be surprised at how many people just walk out of the hospital without as much as a “thank you” to the nurse who took really good care of them. Nurses help patients get to the bathroom, change their wound dressings, ensures that they are getting the right pills, monitors their vital signs, cleans off their vomit, brings them a blanket when they are feeling cold, and even feeds them when they are unable to do it themselves.

Take this time to show your gratitude. One way you can do this is to purchase a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates (or anything you think the nurse might like), and surprise him/her at the hospital. Some people even go out of their way to order an entire cake or pizza for the whole medical team attending to them while at the hospital, a gesture that will certainly be remembered for a long time.

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