The International Nurses Day is celebrated since 1965. In January 1974, 12 May was chosen to celebrate the day as it is the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, who is widely considered the founder of modern nursing.
According to American Nurses Association, nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations.
The first nurse was Phoebe, mentioned in Romans 16:1. During the early years of the Christian Church, St. Paul sent a deaconess Phoebe to Rome as the first visiting nurse. She took care of both women and men.
Florence Nightingale, the most famous nurse in modern history, was known as “The Lady with the Lamp” after her habit of making rounds at night while serving as a nurse during the Crimean War.
Florence Nightingale was only a nurse for three years of her life.
Florence Nightingale’s lasting contribution has been her role in founding the modern nursing profession. The first official nurses’ training programme, the Nightingale School for Nurses, opened in 1860.
Clara Barton was a pioneer nurse who founded the American Red Cross in 1881. In addition to being a hospital nurse, she worked as a teacher, patent clerk, and humanitarian.
New Zealand with adoption of the Nurses Registration Act on 12 September 1901, was the first country to regulate nurses nationally.
Finland, Norway, Monaco, Ireland and Belarus have – in that order – the highest ratios of nurses per capita of all nations, ranging from 2162 to 1182 nurses per 100,000 people.
Nepal, Liberia, Central African Republic, Haiti and Bangladesh have – in that order – the lowest ratios of nurses per capita of all nations, ranging from 5 to 11 nurses per 100,000 people.
Nurses represent the largest sector of all health professions. There are more nurses than any other workers in the health profession.
One out of every four registered nurses works part time.
In a survey done by the American Nurses Association, 45% of nurses expressed fear of getting a potentially deadly disease as one of their top three occupational health concerns.
Only three out of five nurses work in hospitals. Nurses also work in schools, correctional facilities, private companies, home health, nursing homes, government agencies, social assistance agencies, and research labs.
In the USA, the median annual earnings for registered nurses was $62,450 in 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $51,640 and $76,570. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $43,410, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $92,240.
In a survey done by the American Nurses Association, 51% of nurses said they worked an average of 41 to 60 hours per week.
In a survey done by the Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals found that one in five nurses plans to leave the profession within five years because of unsatisfactory working conditions, including low pay, severe under staffing, high stress, physical demands, mandatory overtime, and irregular hours.