Public called upon to ‘shine a light’ for nurses

The day also marks on the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.

Matt Bodell
11 May 2020
Shine a light.

Nursing leaders are calling upon the public to ‘shine a light’ to mark International Nurses Day.

Nursing leaders have called upon the public to ‘shine a light’ to mark International Nurses Day on Tuesday (12 May) and recognise the extraordinary work that their colleagues are doing in the fight against coronavirus.

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Ruth May, England’s top nurse, has joined other senior nursing leaders in urging people to shine a light from their window at 8:30pm on Tuesday to mark the day and show their appreciation for all that nurses are doing to save and rebuild the lives of patients with coronavirus.

The day also marks on the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, who founded modern nursing and pioneered infection control, but is also famous for her lamp.

2020 was marked by the World Health Organization as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife to mark the bicentenary of Florence’s birth.

At least 65 registered nurses are believed to have died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Ruth May, England’s Chief Nursing Officer, said: “International Day of the Nurse is particularly special this year not just because we mark the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, but because of the extraordinary work all those who have followed in her footsteps are doing in the fight against coronavirus.

“I want to thank each and every one of our incredible nurses who are on the frontline in the battle against the greatest health emergency in NHS history. Their professionalism and skills are helping to save and rebuild countless lives.

Andrea Sutcliffe CBE, Chief Executive and Registrar at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) added: “International Nurses Day is more important than ever as we recognise the enormous contribution existing and former professionals are making in caring for people through some of the most challenging moments of their lives during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“2020, the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, is shining a light on the dedication, skills and expertise of everyone on the NMC register in ways we hadn’t expected.  They are the beating heart of our health and social care system, trusted and appreciated by the public and deserving of our admiration and respect.

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“I am so grateful and proud of our nurses, nursing associates and their colleagues.  I hope this special day encourages even more nurses to join or return to what is a wonderful and rewarding career.”

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