International Nurses Day 2024 theme revealed

A demand to invest more in nursing will be a central motif of International Nurses Day 2024, the organisation leading the annual celebration has announced.

Dr Pamela Cipriano, president of the International Council of Nurses (ICN), announced the theme for this year would be ‘the economic power of care’.

“We have seen time and again how financial crises often lead to budgetary restrictions in health care, typically at the expense of nursing services”

Pamela Cipriano

International Nurses Day is celebrated on 12 May each year, to coincide with the birthday of Florence Nightingale, and since 1988 has been given a theme by the ICN.

‘The economic power of care’, Dr Cipriano explained, was chosen to highlight the need for nursing to be seen as an investment, instead of a cost, and to “reshape” perceptions of nursing’s economic and societal benefits.

Dr Cipriano said she hoped the theme could raise the profile of underfunding in nursing more broadly.

“Despite being the backbone of healthcare, nursing often faces financial constraints and societal undervaluation,” said Dr Cipriano.

“We believe now is the time for a shift in perspective.

“We have seen time and again how financial crises often lead to budgetary restrictions in health care, typically at the expense of nursing services.

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“This reductionist approach overlooks the substantial and often underemphasised economic value that nursing contributes to healthcare and society as a whole.”

Dr Cipriano said the theme was chosen as a continuation of the 2023 ‘our nurses, our future’ theme, which aimed to “[move] nurses from invisible to invaluable in the eyes of policy makers, the public, and all those who make decisions affecting the delivery and financing of health care”.

The ICN president added, about the 2024 theme: “Policymakers, healthcare administrators, and even the general public are often unaware or misinformed about the return on investment that adequate funding in nursing can provide, especially in financially turbulent times such as these.

“Drawing from the lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic and recognising the increasing threat to the health of populations around the world due to conflicts, the climate crisis and financial instability, we believe the time is right to advocate for a shift in perspective and policy.”

The theme also follows the ICN’s Charter for Change, which was published last year.

The charter issued 10 policy actions for world governments, and health employers, surrounding the development of the nursing profession in their respective countries.

Among the actions was a demand for more investment in nursing, improving working conditions and safety for nurses, growing the size of the workforce and improving nursing education.

Logo for International Nurses Day 2024

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