10 May 2023 | Story André Damons | Photo International Council of Nurses
Our Nurses Our Future - International Council of Nurses
International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world on May 12, the anniversary of the birthday of Florence Nightingale. The theme for the 2023 celebration is: Our Nurses. Our Future.

The School of Nursing at the University of the Free State (UFS) will be celebrating International Nurses Day on 12 May 2023, commemorating the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern-day nursing. The theme for this year’s celebration day is: “Our Nurses. Our Future” as announced by the International Council of Nurses (ICN). The theme of the international global campaign focuses on nursing in the future in order to address global health challenges and improve global health for all.

Nurses are on the frontline, and are pillars of health care systems, spending 24 hours with patients. The future of the nursing profession is mainly dependent on the quality of education offered by nursing education institutions. The School of Nursing trains nurses as clinical specialists and researchers to improve quality patient care.

“The sacrifices and selfless work done by the nurses during the pandemic displays the values of their contribution towards the health of the society. Thus, protection, support and respect for nurses should be promoted to retain and invest in them. The school believes it is not too late for the lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic to be translated into actions for the future, which is the core message of the theme by ICN for 2023,” says Dr Jeanette Sebaeng, Head of the School of Nursing.

Day of activities

In joining the world to celebrate Nurses Day, the school has invited stakeholders and partners in health from both the public and private sectors. The audience will be addressed by among others Prof Mokgadi Matlakala, the Academic Chairperson of the Department of Health Studies at UNISA and the Deputy Chairperson of the Forum for University Deans in South Africa (FUNDISA). There will be several activities taking place during the day that include the Amazing Race, outdoor events, and a tree-planting to commemorate those nurses who lost their lives during the pandemic. It also aims to envision the future of nursing.

The outdoor activities will be held concurrently with the main event from 9:00 to 13:00, with stalls portraying nursing services in various contexts, for example, at private hospitals, Kovsies and in the community. Those who wish to donate blood can visit the South African National Blood Services stall. Basic screening tests such as blood pressure and blood glucose checks will be provided for free to the university community.

The Amazing Race will be held at 10:00, starting at the Amphitheatre above the Equitas parking area, where teams of four stand a chance to win prizes. All students on campus may take part in the competition. The link below can be used by teams who want enter:

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