World Celebrates Nurses Day

International Nurses Day is observed each year on 12 May marking the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth (200th this year). The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has celebrated this day since 1965.

According to Iris Meyenburg-Altwarg, Managing Director of Nursing and Director of the Academy for Nursing Education & Training at Hannover Medical University and President of European Nurse Directors Association (ENDA), nurses play a vital role in providing health services. “They devote their lives to caring and often stand as the first and only point of care in their communities. Nurses play a critical role in health promotion, disease prevention, emergency care and primary and community care delivery. … Their various roles as caregivers, coordinators, leader communicators, managers, family planners, educators, counsellors, record keepers and supervisors are appreciable. It is very essential to acknowledge, appreciate and address their contribution in challenging global health and nursing care,” she says.

To celebrate International Nurses Day, the World Health Organization (WHO)/Europe has published “Competencies for nurses working in primary health care,” a set of resources aimed at strengthen primary health-care nursing workforce across the world. The publication is intended for policy-makers, instructors, managers and clinicians involved in nurses’ competencies development in primary healthcare.

Five competence clusters are covered in the document:

Patient advocacy and education Effective communication Teamwork and leadership People-centred care and clinical practice Continuous learning and research.


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