Nurses Day Nurses Day Theme Nursing Day 2013 Nurses Day Activities When Is Nurses Day 2014 International Council of Nurses ICN ICN International Nurses Day 2011 International Nurses Day Theme
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The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has celebrated this day since 1965. In 1953 Dorothy Sutherland, an official with the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, proposed that President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaim a "Nurses' Day"; he did not approve it.
In January 1974, 12 May was chosen to celebrate the day as it is the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, who is widely considered the founder of modern nursing. Each year, ICN prepares and distributes the International Nurses' Day Kit. The kit contains educational and public information materials, for use by nurses everywhere.
Each year a service is held in Westminster Abbey in London. During the Service, a symbolic lamp is taken from the Nurses' Chapel in the Abbey and handed from one nurse to another, thence to the Dean, who places it on the High Altar. This signifies the passing of knowledge from one nurse to another. At St Margaret's Church at East Wellow in Hampshire, where Florence Nightingale is buried, a service is also held on the Sunday after her birthday.
ICN themes for International Nurses Day:
The U.S. and Canada celebrate National Nursing Week each year from 6 May to 12 May (the birthday of Florence Nightingale). The Canadian Minister of Health instituted National Nursing Week in Canada in 1985.
In the U.S., National Nurses Week was first observed from October 11–16, 1954 in honor of the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale's mission to Crimea. President Nixon later proclaimed a "National Nurse Week" in 1974. In 1982, President Reagan signed a proposal officially designating May 6 as "National Recognition Day for Nurses," now known as National Nurses Day or National RN Recognition Day. In 1990, the American Nurses Association (ANA) expanded the holiday into the current National Nurses Week celebrated from 6 May to 12 May.
In 1997, at the request of the National Student Nurses Association, the ANA designated 8 May as National Student Nurses Day. In 2003, the ANA designated the Wednesday within National Nurses Week as National School Nurse Day.  The National Association of School Nurses, however, claims that National School Nurse Day has been recognized since 1972.
The Australian Nurse of the Year is announced at a ceremony at one of the state's capital cities. Additionally, in each of the Australian states and territories, various nursing ceremonies are conducted during the week.