"In these extremely challenging days, the exhausted faces of our nurses have become a symbol of commitment to dealing with the current emergency. Today, on the International Day of the Nurse, we celebrate the calling of a service that has played, and will increasingly play, a fundamental role in hospitals and in the relationship with patients and families. We must give nurses our full support, to protect our universal rights to healthcare". These are the words of the Minister of Health, Roberto Speranza, on the occasion of this important event.

Nurses are "the backbone of every health system and today many of them are on the front line in the battle against Covid-19," said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General.

Their role is celebrated all over the world, and online, on International Nurses Day on May 12, the 200th anniversary of the birth in Florence of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

Always on the front line, the profession has paid a high price during the Covid-19 emergency in Italy and in other parts of the world. The profession has been the hardest hit during the emergency with around 12,000 contagions, according to data from FNOPI (the national federation of nursing professions), including 60% in Lombardy, 10% in Emilia-Romagna, and 8% in Veneto.

Celebrating Nightingale 2020 Bicentenary
Despite the lockdown, many initiatives are set to take place all over the world on May 12 via the Web, with virtual photography shows, conventions and, at 20:30, the illumination of Rome's Spallanzani Institute for Infective Diseases, a symbol of the fight against Covid-19, laid on by the British embassy to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale in 1820.

Musician Paolo Fresu has dedicated a new piece to her, "Perfetta" (Perfect), which will be presented during a live Internet broadcast on FNOPI's website and social channels.

This will also see the launch of the #NoiConGliInfermieri (#WeAreWithTheNurses) fund-raising campaign.

Florence Nightingale

Recognised as the founder of modern nursing, it is in her honour that every year International Nursing Day takes place on May 12. And, with this year being the 200th anniversary of her birth on May 12, 1820, the World Health Assembly declared 2020 to be the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.

Soldiers saw Florence Nightingale tirelessly do the rounds among the wounded during the Crimean War and she came to be called the 'Lady with the Lamp'. It was clear from the start that Florence would make her mark in history. She decided to heed the "calling" to the vocation of nursing, even though it was a job with little status at the time.

Teaching still followed today
Her teaching and her guidelines are still following today in the care of patients and they are at the base of the courses of the Nightingale Training School, which she founded in 1860, and of Noteson Nursing, a 136-page book that has become a cornerstone of the curriculums or nursing schools.

Capable of dealing face-to-face with the great figures of the time, among Nightingale's achievements was that she was the first woman to be a member of the Royal Statistical Society (and she would also joint the American Statistical Association), she contributed to the creation of Britain's social services and she inspired Henry Dunant for the foundation of the International Red Cross.

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Data di pubblicazione: 12 maggio 2020, ultimo aggiornamento 12 maggio 2020