International Nurses Day 2020 has fallen amid the coronavirus pandemic on May 12, with thousands more people in need of treatment this year. To thank nurses on the frontline and everywhere else today, nursing leaders have called for people to “shine a light” and celebrate their vital work.
What time is Shine a Light for the NHS tonight?
Today marks International Nurses Day, an annual event which celebrates the work of the nursing community, now more vital than ever as the world’s nurses remain essential in combating COVID-19.
The extraordinary circumstances require an extraordinary celebration, and nursing leaders have created Shine a Light for the NHS.
Shine a Light for the NHS will see people around the country shine a light out of their window at 8.30pm in support of nurses.
International Nurses Day 2020: What time is Shine a Light for NHS tonight?
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Chief Nursing Officer for England Ruth May has joined other leaders in calling for people to take part this year.
Andrea Sutcliffe, chief executive and registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, and Professor Greta Westwood, chief executive of the Florence Nightingale Foundation both threw their support behind the event.
Officials have also scheduled projections of modern nursing founder Florence Nightingale on her former hospital at St Thomas’ from Parliament.
Officials will project the same image onto the British embassy in Rome and the Italian Federation of Nurses between 9pm and 11pm.
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The World Health Organisation (WHO) dubbed 2020 the “year of the nurse” and today marks the bicentenary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.
Chief Nursing Officer Ruth May urged people to mark the “extraordinary” work done by nurses today.
She said: “International Day of the Nurse is particularly special this year not just because we mark the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, but because of the extraordinary work all those who have followed in her footsteps are doing in the fight against coronavirus.
“I want to thank each and every one of our incredible nurses who are on the frontline in the battle against the greatest health emergency in NHS history.”
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“Their professionalism and skills are helping to save and rebuild countless lives.
“It is a challenging but hugely rewarding career and I would urge anyone inspired by their example to sign up to join us and become a nurse.
“I know how much the public’s support has buoyed my colleagues during this testing time.
“It would mean a great deal if people once again showed their gratitude by shining a light for nurses this Tuesday.”
Shine a Light for the NHS comes before the weekly Clap for Our Carers, another celebration of the world’s emergency personnel.
Clap For Our Carers sees people emerge from their doorways or windows every Thursday at 8pm to applaud frontline workers.
Otherwise known as Clap for the NHS, the practice started in March this year, founded by Dutch Londoner Annemarie Plas.
The 36-year-old mum of one started the event in the UK after witnessing people do the same in her home country and said it was “heartwarming” to see it catch on.