Thank a Nurse Today
On May 12, the world celebrated one of the most trusted and honored professions by observing International Nurses Day. This year’s theme, as decided by The International Council of Nurses, was “Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Health is a Human Right.” The collective belief is that no matter the location — no matter the setting — healthcare should be accessible to all.
Used to mark the contributions nurses make to society, May 12 is also the birth date of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, was also statistician and social reformer.
The Mother of Modern Nursing
Florence Nightingale gained prominence and a favorable reputation as a manager of nurses tending to wounded soldiers during the Crimean War. Later, in 1860, she laid the foundation of professional nursing by establishing the first secular nursing school in the world at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London. She set great examples of compassion, commitment to patient care and diligent and thoughtful hospital administration.
In recognition of her pioneering work, the Nightingale Pledge — a modified version of the Hippocratic Oath — is recited by new nurses during their pinning ceremony at the end of training.
Also, in 1912, the International Committee of the Red Cross instituted the Florence Nightingale Medal, the highest international distinction a nurse can achieve, which is awarded every two years for “exceptional courage and devotion to the wounded, sick or disabled or to civilian victims of a conflict or disaster” or “exemplary services or a creative and pioneering spirit in the areas of public health or nursing education.”
In honor of International Nurses Day, here are some interesting facts:
• The first nursing school was established in India in 250 B.C., and only men were allowed to attend. Today, only 5.8% of nurses are male.
• There are more than 100 nursing professions to choose from, requiring different certifications and degrees, and covering a variety of practices and conditions.
• Nurses walk on average 4.5 miles a day.
• There are currently around 3 million nurses in the United States.
• General nursing practices are universal all over the world, which means a licensed nurse can practice almost anywhere. Nurses are in-demand and needed worldwide.
• Nursing students make up more than half of all health profession students. And only 3 in 5 nurses work in hospitals. Also, advanced-practice nurses and nurse practitioners are authorized to examine and diagnose patients can too.