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International Nurses Day 2020 – Gratitude to the Frontline Workers of Healthcare System

International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world on 12th May every year. It is the day to mark the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale who is widely considered the founder of modern-day nursing. The international council of nurses (ICN) initiated the International Nurses Day and was celebrated for the first time in 1965.

International Nurses Day 2020: Theme

Each year, the International Council of Nurses chooses a theme for International Nurses Day discussion, prepares, distribute an International Nurses Day kit having educational and public information materials. The theme of International Nurses Day 2020, as decided by ICN is, Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Nursing the World to Health.
The theme is extremely relevant in today’s healthcare scenario of the world in lieu of COVID-19 outbreak. It demonstrates how nurses are central to addressing a wide range of health challenges. It will not only encourage nurses and the public to celebrate the big day but also provide information and resources that will help to raise the profile of the profession throughout the year and attract a new generation into the nursing family.

Relevance of Nurses in the fight against COVID-19

Nurses are the frontline workers in among the Corona Warriors. They risk their health and life by coming constantly in contact with infected patients. They are not only responsible for ensuring that each patient receives recommended treatment, but also to make sure that the patient does not suffer from other problems, which might affect their mental or physical health while in isolation.
In this regard, several stories have been highlighted where patients are thankful to the nurses for checking on them several times a day and dropping in just to have a chat to keep them entertained during isolation.
Despite these heroic acts, these warriors do not get the respect they deserve. Their contribution is often overlooked and downplayed. Additionally, they are subjected to stigma from society over the fear of getting infected from Coronavirus, considering the fact that they come in touch with patients infected from the disease.

Importance of International Nurses Day 2020 and its celebration

International Nurses Day 2020 provides us with an enormous opportunity to express our gratitude to the nurses, without whom the fight against the pandemic would be next to impossible. It also provides us with an opportunity to inspire more youth to take up the profession which could aid in achieving the SDGs.
It is also an ideal opportunity for each and every nurse to make reference to what is fundamentally important in nursing practice and evaluation of daily achievement. The celebration helps further to compensate practice not from the top down, but through learning, sharing of expertise and best practice nursing care.
International Nurses Day 2020 is considered extra special because WHO has designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. It is also extra important as the world battles to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, in the UK, the public has been asked to “shine a light” from their windows on Tuesday at 8:30 PM as a show of gratitude for the nurses across the world.
In India, The New Indian Express, in association with the Federal Bank and Lakeshore Hospital, has invited people to express gratitude for the nurses by way of pictures, essays or poems in not more than 150 to 200 words, to mark the celebration of International Nurses Day 2020.