Invisible to invaluable: Honouring International Nurses Day

Worldwide, there are approximately 27 million nurses and midwives, making up nearly 50% of the global healthcare workforce.1

On the 12th of May, we celebrate International Nurses Day by honouring their irreplaceable role as care providers, patient advocates and trailblazers of the future of healthcare.

A brighter future for our nursing workforce

The Interntional Council of Nurses (ICN) announced the theme of this year’s International Nurses Day as: Our nurses. Our future.

According to ICN President Dr Pamela Cipriano, the theme “sets out what ICN wants for nursing in the future in order to address the global health challenges and improve global health for all. We need to learn from the lessons of the pandemic and translate these into actions for the future that ensure nurses are protected, respected and valued.”2

Through their International Nurses Day campaign, ICN is hoping to shed light on a few main topics regarding the nursing workforce:2

  • Support the call for greater nursing investment and demonstrate what these investments will mean for healthcare and the nursing workforce
  • Strengthen health systems to address growing global health demands
  • Chart the future direction of nursing to meet the needs of the “new normal”

In short, International Nurses Day aims to move nurses “from invisible to invaluable” in the eyes of all policymakers, healthcare decisionmakers and members of the public.2

On the front lines of change

Nurses deserve the same care and attention that they provide to their patients.

The World Health Organisation claims that achieving health for all depends on sufficient numbers of well trained, educated, regulated and supported nurses and midwives.1

Dr Cipriano concluded with this statement: “Together our future depends on every nurse, every voice, to not only be on the front lines of care, but also be on the front lines of change.”2





  1. World Health Organisation. Nursing and midwifery: Key facts. Published 18 March 2022. Accessed 19 April 2023 at:
  2. International Council of Nurses. Our Nurses. Our Future. International Nurses Day 2023 theme announced. Published 12 January 2023. Accessed 19 April 2023 at:


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