International Nurses Day is set on the date of Florence Nightingale's birthday. Known as "the lady with the lamp", Florence Nightingale is now considered the founder of modern nursing following her heroic efforts to reform healthcare based on her foundational views on the importance of sanitation, the legacy of which has resulted in the saving of thousands of human lives since her time.
During her work in the Crimean War during the 1850s, Nightingale recognised that more soldiers were dying from preventable infectious diseases such as Typhoid and Cholera than from war-related injuries themselves. Her efforts at the time to improve sanitation reduced the death toll at the British base hospital in Constantinople by two-thirds. After recognition by Queen Victoria for the results of her tireless efforts, Nightingale employed the work of leading statisticians at the time to analyse army mortality data which revealed that 16000 of the 18000 deaths incurred during the war were secondary to preventable infectious diseases.
Until the time of her death in 1910, Nightingale was involved in advising on extensive reforms to healthcare systems and hospitals and improved the running of field hospitals during the US Civil War. She became renowned as a respected authority and advocate of health care reform that would change the future of healthcare systems and improve the livelihood of countless people forever.
So on behalf of Nightingale's legacy, to all the nurses out there, we thank you for your efforts in improving the lives of many who are in currently in great need of your compassion and care.