By Michelle Kenyon, EBMT Nurses Group President
International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every May 12th, the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. For 2022, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) launched the theme Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Invest in nursing and respect rights to secure global health, focusing on the need to protect, support and invest in the nursing profession to strengthen health systems around the world.
We use May 12th to acknowledge and celebrate the valuable and innovative work that nurses do, not just today, but every day throughout the year.
Today, I hope that we have time to pause and briefly reflect on the incredible contribution that nurses and nursing have made throughout the pandemic, our care for those with COVID-19, as well as those with other conditions including those in our stem cell transplant units and those who are working in situations of conflict. Nurses have been working together to deliver care under the most extreme and challenging circumstances, setting up new pathways in response to changing demands or maintaining staffing and equipment levels to deliver ongoing and essential services. Every single one of us has adapted to work differently to keep ourselves, our colleagues and our patients safe and yet crucially still offer accessible, person-centred and holistic care.
IND 2022 is using its voice to draw attention to the vulnerabilities of our health systems that have been laid bare by the pandemic and is raising awareness of the need to ‘invest in nursing’ and ‘respect nurses rights’. The investment in nursing is necessary for sustainability, to build a more robust workforce that is equipped with the academic training and practical skills that can adapt to the evolving and extensive health needs of our global community.
The pandemic has shone a bright light on nursing and the vital role of nurses. Being recognised, appreciated and valued has felt incredibly important for nurses around the world. But hardship and extreme working conditions have been detrimental to workforce wellbeing and in the afterglow, there is a great opportunity to ensure the rights of nurses can be better protected in the future.
Today, May 12th, raise your voice, make yourself heard and celebrate International Nurses Day 2022.