On the eve of International Nurses Day, ICN recognises the selfless work and sacrifices of nurses during the pandemic and those living in conflict zones

11 May 2022
Nurses for peace

On the eve of International Nurses Day, 12 May, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) wishes to acknowledge the selfless contribution of the world’s 28 million nurses and highlighting the sacrifices they have made during the pandemic, and in wars and conflict zones around the world, including Ukraine.

ICN President Dr Pamela Cipriano said: “On behalf of the world’s nurses, I send a message of solidarity to all our colleagues in Ukraine as they continue to provide care and comfort to their patients, but especially to those who, although they are living in unimaginably fearful conditions, are staying behind to care for the sick and injured.

‘ICN recognises the courage, and the sacrifices nurses are making on the frontlines of this terrible conflict. We continue to call for nurses to be protected wherever they work, and for a cessation of hostilities in Ukraine and elsewhere, because there can be no health in this world without peace. As we mark International Nurses Day, our hearts go out to you.”

ICN’s International Nurses Day (IND), held on the anniversary of the birth of one of the founders of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, is an opportunity for nurses around the world to celebrate their profession and for their contribution and sacrifice to be both acknowledged and respected. This is especially pertinent today as the world struggles with the third year of the pandemic and so many nurses are living and working in areas of conflict, including in Ukraine, Yemen, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

President of the Association of Nurses of Ukraine Tetyana Chernyshenko sent a message of solidarity to nurses everywhere for International Nurses Day and thanked the ICN family for its #NursesforPeace campaign and the generous donations of its associations and supporters. President Chernyshenko said: “Celebrating the birthday of nurse Florence Nightingale is deeply symbolic as she is the personification of high professionalism and a scientist, a woman who dedicated her whole life to serving people, with a big heart of kindness and love, modesty and nobility. We are extremely grateful to all of you, dear colleagues, for the great help and support that our Ukrainian nurses feel. We wish you good health, success in work and fulfillment of all your dreams and hopes. May there always be a peaceful sky over us.”

ICN Chief Executive Officer Howard Catton added: “ICN’s #NursesforPeace campaign was set up in the immediate aftermath of the invasion of Ukraine. Thanks to the generosity of our member National Nursing Associations and individual nurses around the world, we have started to get money directly to the nurses who need it most in Ukraine, and to nurses in the surrounding countries that are providing the most support to the millions of refugees who have fled their country in the face of fierce fighting.

‘We cannot forget the nurses working in the many challenging conflict zones around the world, caring for the injured, ill, and dying.”

International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every 12 May, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth. ICN commemorates this important day each year with the production and distribution of the IND resources and evidence. To access the report and other resources, as well as information of previous INDs, please go to https://www.icnvoicetolead.com/

Download the press release here