A nurse provides emotional and physical care to the sick and disabled, they enter our life from the moment we are born to the very last moment of most of our lives. Nursing is a profession which requires real commitment and selfless hard work. This profession also requires a lot of love, passion and perseverance than most other jobs do. May 12th on every year is observed as the International Nurses Day to honor the commitment and self less hard work of the nursing community.
Dorothy Sutherland, an official in the U. S Department of Health, Education and Welfare was the first to propose to proclaim the day in 1953 to observe the valuable contributions of the nurses. But, it was only in the year 1965 that the Nurses day started to be celebrated by the International Council of Nurses (ICN). On January 1974 it was decided to celebrate May 12th, Florence Nightingales birthday as the day to honor the nurses and May 9 to 15 was decided to be observed as the Nurses' Week. This day was chosen so as to remember the contribution she did to mankind during the World War II which reduced the death rate of wounded soldiers. The Lady with the Lamp as Florence Nightingale is called is rightfully designated as the founder of modern nursing, but some part of the world are against considering her as a role model and does not favor her birth anniversary to be celebrated as the Nurses day. In 1982, President Ronald Regan signed a proposal making May 6 as the National Nursing Day observed by the American Nursing Association (ANA) and the Nursing Week extends from May 6 up to 12 May every year and May 8 is observed as the National Student Nursing Day.
During each year a different theme is decided and celebrated around the International Nurses Day and week. Different themes have been recognized over the year and Mental Health, Women's Health, Healthy Ageing and Fighting Aids Stigma are some of them. "Delivering Quality, Serving Communities: Nurses Leading Care Innovations" was the theme for the year 2009 , 2010 the theme is "Delivering Quality, Serving Communities: Nurses Leading Chronic Care."
Dr. Lee Jong wook, director general World Health Organization (WHO) at fourth WHO global forum conducted in Ottawa (November 2004) stated that "Chronic disease are now the major global disease problem facing the world and a key barrier to development, to elevating property, and to implementing the Millennium Development goals.' Chronic diseases are those which last over a long period or are recurring. These diseases usually progress slowly and persist for the remaining period of life. The challenges in a chronic disease is the prevention and management of it which can be best seen to if an effective relationship and communication is present between the patient and health care professionals. The people can lead a better and healthier life if proper care and nursing is made available to the long term chronic illness like diabetes, arthritis, rheumatology and asthma. The people suffering from these chronic diseases have to cope up with a number of challenges daily and good nursing which identifies of the needs of the patient can relieve a lot of uneasiness and complications.
On the International Nurses Day, ICN delivers the International Nursing day kit to the nurses. The kit contains education and public informational material on this year's theme for use by the nurses. The nursing day is conducted by conducting education seminars and community events for the nurses. The seminar prepares the nurses to recognize the theme of nursing day during the year and prepare them to achieve the goals laid down during the year. Work houses are also conducted to improve the working skills and to introduce the nurses to innovative methods and machines. The hospital also gives a gift dinner to the nurses and their family on the day, to acknowledge their hard work and dedication. Some doctors and patients give gift to the nurse to appreciate their work and commitment.
The job of nurses involves a lot of patience and tolerance as they have to deal with a number of diseases and different patients on every day. They are also required to see to the patient's health day and night, monitoring their progress and recovery. The nurse also helps to maintain the emotional well being of the patient by taking care of them with respect and care. They are usually more committed to the health of their patients than their own and this tireless effort indeed has to be recognized, appreciated and acknowledged.