‘Happy Birthday to a British nurse, a social reformer, and a founder of modern nursing. A lady full of hospitality. The 12th of May is marked as the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale,” A lady with the Lamp”. She was born on the 12th of May 1820, every year this day is marked as International Nurse Day. She was a statistician who laid the foundation of modern nursing which we see today- a structured, methodical process of nursing the sick back to hale and hearty.
Modern nursing, what we pretty much take for granted was, not such a streamlined setup before Nightingale stepped in. The special day was chosen by the International Council of Nurses and has been observed officially since 1974. The inspiration behind the day is the iconic Florence Nightingale, the British nurse and social reformer who dedicated her life to the improvement of the health sector. This year, the theme for Nurses Day is “Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Invest in Nursing and respect rights to secure global health.”
Florence Nightingale, who is remembered around the world as the “Lady with the Lamp,” took care of wounded soldiers of the British army and their allied forces during the Crimean War. Not only did Florence Nightingale set standards of health care and nursing in the medical camps and hospitals during the war, but later also established Nightingale Training School at St Thomas’ Hospital in 1860 to provide training to aspiring nurses and healthcare workers.
When 16-year-old Nightingale announced that she felt “called” to become a nurse, her parents weren’t thrilled. But their determined daughter’s mind was made up and, in 1850, she finally started learning the skills. She stayed single to justice to her profession and did not get married. She turned down multiple proposals, including one made by a cousin named Henry Nicholson.
In today’s time, Nurses Day is celebrated to mark the importance and the contribution the nurses make to healthcare and society. Nurses around the world have worked tirelessly and selflessly ever since the Covid-19 pandemic began. Tens of thousands have left their family behind for months and many have even laid down their lives while treating patients.
This is the day we honour them for their selfless work and sacrifice!