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Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commisioning Group

Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commisioning Group

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International Nurse’ Day

International Nurses’ Day was first marked in 1965, created by the International Council of Nurses to mark the hard work of nursing staff around the world.

Since January 1974, the global celebrations are traditionally held on 12 May, to mark the anniversary of the birth of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale

Each year 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, till it is placed on the High Altar.

This year’s celebrations will be poignant, not only because 2020 has been designated the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth; it is also extra important as the world battles to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The public has been asked to “shine a light” on Tuesday to mark International Nurses Day and the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale birth,  Chief nursing officer for England Ruth May has urged 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.