Today Marks the Beginning of Nursing Week

Nursing Week | May 12th to 18th

Every year, cities and towns across the province of Ontario pay tribute to nurses and the important work they do. Today marks the beginning of Nursing Week 2014, which runs from May 12th to the 18th.

The health and well-being of people is the biggest priority for Communities and nurses are an integral part of our health care system. They serve residents of all ages with skill, knowledge, caring and commitment. Nurses have a unique perspective and broad understanding of the concepts of good health and Nursing Week is intended to recognize all the hard work, dedication and contributions they put forth on a daily basis.

A Bit of History

Florence Nightingale is considered the founder of modern nursing. Photo credit

In 1971, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) designated May 12th, Florence Nightingale’s birthday as International Nurses Day. In 1985, in recognition of the dedication and achievements of the nursing profession, the Canadian minister of health proclaimed the second week of May as National Nursing Week in Canada.

Nightingale is best known around the world as the ‘Lady with the Lamp’ who nursed British soldiers during the Crimean War and turned nursing into a profession. But she was also much more than that.

She was an activist, social theorist and author whose advocacy to improve health and sanitation for British Army soldiers, and writings on hospital planning and organization laid the foundation for nursing’s emphasis on social determinants of health today. Nightingale published more than 200 books, reports and pamphlets.

Nursing Week gives nurses across the world the chance to celebrate the work they do to keep Nightingale’s work alive by advocating for policies that keep people healthy, and care for them when they’re ill.