Five ways to celebrate International Nurses Day 2019

As the world marks International Nurses Day on Florence Nightingale’s birthday this weekend (Sunday 12 May), editor Victoria Galligan takes a look at five ways that nurses around the country are celebrating…

1. The Royal College of Nursing is encouraging members to organise a get-together as part of the UK’s Biggest Nursing Party and offers a free party pack to help get planning started on your event. 

2. The International Council of Nurses (ICN) commemorates International Nurses Day each year by producing and distributing resources and evidence to support nurses globally. This year’s theme is Nurses: A voice to lead - Health for All and looks at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) adopted by the UN in 2015.  International Nurses Day 2019 Logo

3. Coventry Cathedral is hosting an event on Friday 10th May, which will see nurses (including retired nurses and students) mark the fourth annual International Nurses’ Day and International Day of the Midwife celebration. Nurses from across Warwickshire will take part in a procession through the city, and a ceremony will then be conducted at the cathedral. 

4. Westminster Abbey will host a Florence Nightingale Commemoration Service which will feature a lamp given to the foundation by the family of Kathleen Dampier-Bennett, a trustee and supporter of the Foundation. The lamp has become the international symbol of nursing after Florence carried hers at night around the wards, visiting wounded soldiers during the Crimean War. The Chelsea pensioners will take part in the ceremony and a Nurses’ Roll of Honour is carried which honours those killed in conflict.

5. NHS Trusts in Cumbria are celebrating the range of nursing roles across the region and are looking at the different routes into a nursing career. System chief nurse Alison Smith said: “Every year the 12th May gives us a fantastic opportunity to raise the profile of our nursing staff. There are so many different nursing roles each one making such a difference to the lives of our patients; in the community, in people’s homes, in the community hospitals and in the main hospitals, nurses are a huge part of our workforce.

"Please help us celebrate our wonderful nurses and if you have a particular story about how a nurse has helped you or you would like to share your nursing story please get in touch. Personally I would like to thank all of our nursing staff for the phenomenal role you play in improving the lives of our patients.” Email your pics to

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