International Nurses Day 2021: A day to celebrate COVID-19 frontline heroes who tirelessly serve us
New Delhi, May 12: International Nurses Day 2021 is celebrated around the world and is also observed as Florence Nightingale's birth anniversary. On that day in 1820, Florence Nightingale - perhaps the world's most famous nurse - was born.
International Nurses Day, amid the horrific coronavirus pandemic, assumes great significance. Nurses are the backbone of the hospitals and clinics taking care of the millions of COVID-19 patients for months putting their lives at risk.
According to the International Council of Nurses (ICN), till 31 December 2020, more than 1.6 million healthcare workers in 34 countries have been infected by COVID-19.
"Nurses account for more than half of all the world's health workers, yet there is an urgent shortage of nurses worldwide with 5.9 million (2020) more nurses still needed, especially in low and middle income countries," states World Health Organization (WHO).
Who was Florence Nightingale?
Florence Nightingale was a trailblazing figure in nursing who greatly affected 19th- and 20th-century policies around proper medical care. She was known for her night rounds to aid the wounded, establishing her image as the 'Lady with the Lamp.'
She was the founder of modern nursing, started work as a nursing in-charge of the British and allied soldiers, wounded during the Crimean War. She was known as the Lady with the Lamp. Florence Nightingale spent most of her time caring and comforting the injured - often late into the night.
The first nursing school - the Nightingale School of Nursing - was inaugurated in London in 1860. Florence Nightingale was a key figure behind setting up a training school for midwives as well. She was the first woman who was awarded the Order of Merit 1907.