To mark the contributions that nurses make to society, International Nurses Day is internationally observed every year on 12 May, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth, since 1974.
Every year, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) provides promotional and educational material in support of this day. Each year, International Nurses Day focuses on a different theme intended to highlight the vital work performed by nurses worldwide and raise awareness on the issues affecting the nursing profession.
For 2022, the theme is "Nurses: A Voice to Lead - Invest in Nursing and respect rights to secure global health". The day emphasises the “need to invest in nursing and respect the rights of nurses to build resilient, high-quality health systems to meet the needs of individuals and communities now and into the future.” The focus calls to attention nursing shortage gaps revealed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The day is celebrated differently across the world. For example, in the U.S., the day is considered part of National Nurses Week, celebrated from May 6th to May 12th. In the U.K, a service is held in Westminster Abbey to commemorate the life of Florence Nightingale.