International Nurses Day | May 12

Submitted by: Anna Carolina Ortiz, MPH, Global Health & Development Director

This holiday is particularly special to me because many of my loved ones have dedicated their lives to a career in nursing, including my mom. She recently retired from a 33-year career in nursing, celebrating service to hundreds of patients and a lifetime of friendships. 


I clearly remember growing up in the halls of the hospital; hanging out in the lobby watching a muted TV or "pretend shopping" in the gift shop, waiting for mom’s shift to end. What I didn’t realize at that young age is that my mom was not only there to do her job, but she was also fulfilling her calling. I’ve seen firsthand, through my mom and her friends (also nurses), the physical and emotional toll of caring for patients and families that often goes unnoticed or unappreciated. 

Nurses: A Voice to Lead - Invest in Nursing and respect rights to secure global health

On May 12th, we observe International Nurses Day to highlight the critical role nurses play in the continuum of care. My mother was already in retirement when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit in March of 2020, but I think of all my friends and acquaintances who have battled the pandemic on the frontlines. The past two years have been some of the most trying for health personnel across the globe, and nurses have been essential to our response and recovery. Their strength, dedication, and perseverance must be recognized and supported. More than ever, it's important that we help nurses and other health workers recover from the physical and emotional stress brought on by the pandemic. 

As we celebrate International Nurses Day, I invite you to reach out to the nurses in your life and thank them for their unwavering service to society. Turn on a light and recognize the burden they’ve carried these past two years and offer to carry some of the load. You never know how impactful a simple "thank you" can be. 

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