International Nurses Day 2021

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Today we are celebrating a very important day in healthcare history, International Nurses Day. This day is celebrated across the world on the 12th of May every year. The purpose of International Nurses Day is to honour and pay tribute to every single nurse around the world and the incredible work they carry out every day.

The themes

The International Council of Nurses has chosen two themes for this year. The overarching theme is ‘Nurses: A Voice to Lead’, and the sub-theme is ‘A Vision for Future Healthcare’. The purpose of the two themes is to reflect on the impact of the pandemic on the healthcare system and the nursing profession. The themes also focus on how nursing could look in the future and how the profession will transform the next stage of healthcare.

The history of International Nurses Day

International Nurses Day began in 1953, when Dorothy Sutherland, an official with the US Department of Health, Education and Welfare, contacted the president to proclaim a nurse day. At the time, the president did not approve of the day. Eventually, the day was approved and has been celebrated since May 12th, 1965. The day was officially named International Nurses Day or IND in 1974.

How you can get involved

Countries around the world celebrate this special day in their own ways.  Previously in the UK, a service has been held in Westminster Abbey in London where a symbolic lamp is passed between nurses until it reaches the Nurses' Chapel in the Abbey where it is then placed on the High Altar. The passing of the lamp symbolises the passing of knowledge from one nurse to another.  

Each year, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) creates a vast range of resources to educate the public and nurses about the healthcare industry, International Nurses Day, and the nursing profession. The resources pack contains a report, case studies, posters, videos, an interview, and imagery. This year, the ICN is asking nurses to share their thoughts in the form of a case study, of how they think nursing will look in the future as well how the profession will transform the next stage of healthcare. The case studies will be collated and used as part of the International Nurses Day 2021 campaign. If you would like to submit a case study or would like some guidance on creating the case study, click here. You can also view previous case studies and International Nurses Day resources here.

How are we supporting International Nurses Day?

Over the past few weeks, we have been working with our fantastic nurses to create a virtual thought shower. For the thought shower, our nurses provided us with one word each that best describes what being a nurse means to them. All of the nurses' words will be displayed in the thought shower, which you can view later today on our LinkedIn and Facebook pages.

We have also been busy creating a Wellbeing and Support Hub for our nurses and support workers. The hub is a dedicated online portal tailored to our workers' mental health, wellbeing, and professional development needs. This hub is accessible to Pulse Nursing at Home workers and can be accessed on our website when they log in to their account. If you would like to join our team of nurses and support workers and receive the excellent benefits we offer, like the Wellbeing and Support Hub, then register with us today here.

Prioritising the mental health of nurses in 2021

International Nurses Day takes place during Mental Health Awareness Week, which is a very important campaign that aims to raise awareness of mental health and mental health problems whilst inspiring organisations to promote the message of good mental health for all. Mental health charities such as Mind have noticed a vast increase in mental health problems during the pandemic. According to the charity, ‘More than half of adults and over two-thirds of young people said that their mental health has gotten worse during the period of lockdown restrictions, from early April to mid-May 2020’. With this in mind, we felt that a Wellbeing and Support Hub would be a valuable asset for our workers to access whenever they need it.

We will be sharing a variety of exciting things on social media this week to support both International Nurses Day and Mental Health Awareness Week. Keep an eye on our social media pages to find out more.

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