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International Nurses Day 2023 – May 12

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International Nurses Day - May 12 2023International Nurses Day (IND) is annually observed across the globe on May 12 to honour the contribution of nurses to society and acknowledge their role in the overall healthcare system.

  • The day commemorates the birth anniversary of British Nurse and statistician Florence Nightingale, one of the founders of modern nursing. She was born on 12th May 1820 in Florence, Grand Duchy of Tuscany (Italy).

International Nurses Day 2023 was observed on 12th May 2023.

  • The theme/campaign of the IND 2023 is “Our Nurses. Our Future”.

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) commemorates this annual observance by producing and distributing International Nurses’ Day (IND) resources and evidence.


i. Dorothy Sutherland, an official with the United States (US) Department of Health, Education and Welfare, proposed to Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States of America (USA) to declare “Nurses Day” in 1953.

ii. The 1st ever International Nurses Day was observed on 12th May 1965 by the ICN.

About Florence Nightingale:

i. Florence Nightingale (1820–1910) was popularly known as “The Lady With the Lamp”.

ii. In 1860, she established the 1st scientifically based nursing school, the Nightingale School of Nursing, at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, United Kingdom (UK).

iii. She became the first woman to be awarded the Order of Merit (1907), a British honorary institution founded by Edward VII in 1902.

IND 2023 Campaign: Our Nurses. Our Future:

i. On 12th May 2023, the ICN launched the “Our Nurses. Our Future” campaign, which includes its ten-point Charter for Change and International Nurses Day 2023 report.

ii. The Charter for Change outlines 10 policy actions that employers and governments must adopt to create and sustain healthcare systems that are safe, affordable, accessible, responsive, and resilient.

  • This will change the focus of nurses as being invisible and make them invaluable.

iii. The IND report includes the reasons for the 10 policy recommendations in the Charter for Change, demonstrating why these key actions are necessary to nurse the world and the profession.

Key Points:

i. The State of the World’s Nursing Report 2020: Investing in Education, Employment and Leadership, which was published by the World Health Organization (WHO), estimates that there are 28 million nursing professionals in the world, a number that represents more than half of all health professionals.

ii. It also notes that there is a global shortage of 5.9 million nursing professionals, mainly in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as in some Latin American countries.

iii. According to WHO, there are about 27 million men and women working as nurses and midwives.

About the International Council of Nurses (ICN):

President- Pamela F Cipriano
Headquarters- Geneva, Switzerland
Establishment- 1899