10 Nurses' Day and Week! - Dr Hazel Colaso

posted May 8, 2019, 8:36 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 8, 2019, 8:36 AM ]
International Nurses Day is celebrated every year on May 12 - the birthday of Florence Nightingale, and also to mark the nurses' contribution towards people's health! The Week starts on May 6 and culminates on May 12.

However, since 1967, and always beginning on Mother's Day, second Sunday of May, which coincidentally falls on May 12, 2019, the NSNCW – National Skilled Nursing Care Center Week also observes it, but from May 12 to 18. It is sponsored by the American Healthcare Association, and recognises the role of skilled nurses, both females and males, in nursing care centres, for caring for American soldiers, seniors, and individuals with disabilities. Besides, the month of May is dedicated to Mother Mary, the Nurse par excellence, who 'nursed' Jesus!

Florence Nightingale

(May 12, 1820 - August 13, 1910) was an English social reformer, and founder of modern nursing. She was the first woman to have a great influence over nursing in India; although she came to prominence while serving as a manager and trainer during the Crimean War (1853-1856), during which she organised care for wounded soldiers.

In 1865, Nightingale drew up detailed "suggestions on a system of nursing for hospitals in India." Graduates were sent out from the Nightingale School of Nurses at St Thomas Hospital, England, to start similar schools in India. St Stephen's Hospital, Delhi, was the first to begin training Indian women as nurses in 1867.

But the acceptance of nursing as a profession in India was hampered by the low status of women, the caste system, illiteracy and political unrest. In fact, there was a shortage of 2.5 million nurses in India in 2010, according to data from the Indian Nursing Council, and the World Health Organization (WHO). In that year, India had only 1.23 million registered nurses and midwives; but matters improved in 2014, as the number reached 1.79 million. And note that in the USA, there are nearly 4 million, which include Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses, of which about three lakhs identify as Asian.