International Nurses Day - May 12
(Last Updated On: November 7, 2022)


International Nurses Day (IND) is observed around the world May 12 (the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth in 1820). The day is set aside to honor and note the many contributions nurses make to society. Nurses care for our loved ones at some of the most challenging times of their lives. They may run short of time, but not compassion.

In Australia, Canada, the United States, and other countries, International Nurses Day often is part of a week-long celebration, usually referred to as National Nurses Week.


Do you personally know a nurse? Send a letter of appreciation.

Invite a nurse to make a presentation about the profession at retirement homes, school, businesses.

Use #InternationalNursesDay or #VoiceToLead to share on social media.

Learn more by visiting the International Council of Nurses website.


The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has celebrated this day since 1965.

Florence Nightingale became an essential figure in nursing in the 1850s during the Crimean War. She was stationed at a hospital where she headed a group of nurses who cared for injured British soldiers. When she first arrived at the hospital, she was struck by the desperate condition of the facilities. So, she imposed strict standards of care and ensured that the wards were kept clean and well stocked with food and medical supplies. Nightingale’s experiences led her to campaign for reform in health care and nursing. In 1860 she opened the Nightingale School of Nursing at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London.



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