Thursday, May 19, 2022

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International Nurses Day: A day to appreciate Nurse Staff for exceptional work in most challenging times

“Nurses play a vital role in keeping our planet healthy. Their dedication and compassion is exemplary,” these are the words of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who took to Twitter to extend his greetings on the International Nurses Day.

Today, i.e 12th May is celebrated annually worldwide as International Nurses Day, highlighting the vital, life-saving contribution of nurses across the world. Nurses are an extremely integral part of this world and their essential services in healthcare, from assisting doctors to treating patients and looking after them while they are recovering, are commendable. Moreover, the sacrifices they have made during the pandemic, in wars, and in conflict zone around the world, is worth recognizing.

Prime Minister Modi in another tweet stated, “#InternationalNursesDay is an opportunity to express our gratitude to the nursing fraternity, which is recognised for its selfless service to humanity. Their deep commitment to protecting lives and public health is commendable.”

What is the significance?

It is an unfortunate fact that many people seem to think that the most important people in the healthcare system are the doctors, but it is simply not true! Can be called an underdog, nurses play a key role in all of our medical institutions, being responsible for the welfare, safety and recovery of patients.

It all began in 1953, when Dorothy Sutherland, an official with the U.S. Department of Health, Education &Welfare, contacted President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposing her proclaim a “Nurses’ Day”.  However, he did not approve her proposal at that time. The International Council of Nurses has been celebrated since May 12th 1965.  May 12th is an important date to all nurses, as it is the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, who is widely considered the founder of modern nursing. Each year since 1975, ICN prepares and distributes something called the International Nurses’ Day Kit which contains educational and public information materials, for use by nurses everywhere.

Do you know?


Approximately 27 million men and women make up the global nursing and midwifery workforce. This accounts for nearly 50% of the global health workforce. There is a global shortage of health workers, in particular nurses and midwives, who represent more than 50% of the current shortage of health workers. The largest needs-based shortages of nurses and midwives are in South East Asia and Africa. For all countries to reach Sustainable Development Goal III on health and well-being, WHO estimates that the world will need an additional 9 million nurses and midwives by the year 2030. Nurses play a critical role in health promotion, disease prevention and delivering primary and community care. They provide care in emergency settings and will be key to the achievement of universal health coverage.  Achieving health for all will depend on there being sufficient numbers of well-trained and educated, regulated and well-supported nurses and midwives, who receive pay and recognition commensurate with the services and quality of care that they provide. The report of the UN High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth concluded that investments in education and job creation in the health and social sectors result in a triple return of improved health outcomes, global health security, and inclusive economic growth.

India:  Measures to increase Nursing manpower

As per the Indian Nursing Council records, there are around 33.41 lakh nursing personnel registered in India that making 1.96 nurses per 1000 population ratio. Some of the proactive measures taken to increase nursing manpower in the country are as follows: –

– The requirement of land to construct buildings for the School/College of Nursing and Hostel has been relaxed.
– The requirement of a 100 bedded parent hospital has been relaxed for hilly and tribal areas.
– The student-teacher ratio for M.Sc.(N) programme has been relaxed from 1:5 to 1:10. Student patient ratio for Nursing Institutions has been relaxed from 1:5 to 1:3.
– Distance from school to the hospital has been relaxed from 15 km to 30 Km. However, for hilly and tribal areas the maximum distance is 50 Km.

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