International Nurses Day 2024: Theme, Significance, and Celebration

International Nurses Day is celebrated all around the globe on the 12th of May every year. The day marks the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing and also honors the nurses for their tireless efforts and contributions towards humankind. A theme is decided every year to celebrate IND and many events and activities are organized worldwide. For more details on International Nurses Day 2024 such as its importance, history, celebrations, etc, keep reading this article.

International Nurses Day 2024 Date

Below mentioned are the upcoming dates for International Nurses Day for the upcoming 5 years.

International Nurses Day 2024May 12, 2024Sunday
International Nurses Day 2025May 12, 2025Monday
International Nurses Day 2026May 12, 2026Tuesday
International Nurses Day 2027May 12, 2027Wednesday

International Nurses Day 2024 Overview

EventInternational Nurses Day 2024, IND 2024
DateMay 12, 2024
Declared byInternational Council of Nurses (ICN)
Observed byWorldwide
Purpose of celebrationTo honor and celebrate the contributions of nurses all over the world.
2024 ThemeOur Future. The economic power of care


Apart from doctors, nurses also play a major role in medical institutions by providing proper care to patients to help them heal soon. They take care of the safety of their patients as well as their recovery. There is no denying the fact that we need nurses as desperately as we need doctors. Plus, they work in tougher environments, dealing with the stress of the job and putting their own health at risk for the sake of others. To provide the honor and respect that these nurses deserve for their service, International Nurses Day is celebrated every year on 12 May.

International Nurses Day History

The first idea to dedicate a day to nurses all over the world came to Dorothy Sutherland in 1953. Sutherland was an official from the US Department of Health, Education and Welfare who put forth the idea of International Nurses day to the then President Dwight D. Eisenhower, however, the idea was rejected.

Check Other important Days in May

In 1965, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) started observing the day and in 1974 they decided to make the celebration an annual event and established May 12 as International Nursing Day. The day was chosen to coincide with the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale. The first International Nurses Day was observed on 12 May, 1974.

International Council of Nurses

The International Council of Nurses is a council of over 130 national nurses associations all over the world and represents more than 28 million nurses. ICN was established in 1899 as the world’s first and widest reaching international organization for health professionals. The council’s objective is to ensure quality nursing care for all, advancement of nursing knowledge and the presence of a respected nursing profession worldwide. The ICN is operated by nurses and leading nurses internationally.

Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale, known as the founder of modern nursing, was a statistician and asocial reformer from England. She made a revolution in the medical field when she significantly reduced the number of deaths by improving the hygiene and living standards of the patients during the Crimean War. Florence gave nursing a favorable reputation and was often referred to as “The Lady with the Lamp” making rounds of wounded soldiers at night. It was in her honor that her birthday May 12 was chosen as International Nurses Day.


Various events and activities are organized all over the world to celebrate the International Nurses Day every year. From ward ceremonies to week-long pro-bono campaigns, different events are conducted by nursing organizations in different countries on this day. Social media celebrations include the use of hashtag #CelebrateNurses on Twitter, Facebook, etc to honor the great work nurses do. In the UK, a service is held in Westminster Abbey in London where a symbolic lamp is taken from the Nurses’ Chapel in the Abbey and handed from one nurse to another and finally to the Dean.

International Nurses Day Theme 2024

The International Council of Nurses announced the theme for International Nurses Day (IND) 2024: Our Future. The economic power of care. Along with the theme, the council also launched its new IND logo. Check out some of the last years’ themes for International Nurses Day.

2022Nurses: A voice to lead – Invest in Nursing and respect rights to secure global health
2021Nurses: A voice to lead – A vision for future healthcare
2020Nurses: A voice to lead – Nursing the World to Health
2019Nurses: A voice to lead – Health for All
2018Nurses: A voice to lead – Health is a Human Right

Frequently Asked Questions

When do we celebrate International Nurses Day?

May 12 every year

Can men apply for the role of nurses or only women can do it?

Both men and women are eligible to pursue careers in nursing.

Who is called as the mother of nursing?

Florence Nightingale

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