May 12, 2016 all-day

The History of International Nurses Day

It all began in 1953, when Dorothy Sutherland, an official with the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, contacted President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposing he proclaim a “Nurses’ Day”. However, he did not approve her proposal at that time. The International Council of Nurses has celebrated on May 12th since 1965. May 12th is an important date to all nurses, as it is the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, who is widely considered the founder of modern nursing. In January 1974, this day was finally officially made International Nurses Day. Each year since then, ICN prepares and distributes something called the International Nurses’ Day Kit which contains educational and public information materials, for use by nurses everywhere.