Today is International Nurses Day | 12th May

International Nurses Day logo with British Nurse in the background

International nurses day, also known as IND, is celebrated around the world on 12th May because this is the anniversary of Florence Nightingales birth. People celebrate to mark the contributions nurses make to society.

It has been celebrated since 1965. The International Council of Nurses commemorates this important day each year with the production and distribution of the International Nurses’ Day (IND) Kit. The IND Kit 2016 contains educational and public information materials, for use by nurses everywhere. Each year a service is held in Westminster Abbey in London. During the Service, a symbolic lamp is taken from the Nurses’ Chapel in the Abbey and handed from one nurse to another, thence to the Dean, who places it on the High Altar. This signifies the passing of knowledge from one nurse to another. At St Margaret’s Church at East Wellow in Hampshire, where Florence Nightingale is buried, a service is also held on the Sunday after her birthday.

international nurses day 1The IND theme for 2016 is: Nurses: A force for change: Improving Health Systems’ Resilience. Though mainly planned around May 12 each year, IND activities continue for much of the year by nurses and others.

As part of these global celebrations, UK nurses are urged to build links with local communities, including schools. Research has proven that careers talks from professionals can be a real inspiration to young people and help them succeed in life. It is also a fantastic opportunity for nurses to shatter some of the misconceptions about nursing while showing how worthwhile and fulfilling it can be.

Nurses can build on existing links with schools through their personal life or through their employer. Alternatively, they can sign-up to Inspiring the Future who will match nurses to local schools in their area.

More information and the chance to sign-up to the scheme is available on the Inspiring the Future website.

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