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Posted on 10 May 2019
Clinical/acute care
A message from our Chief NURSE AND Midwifery Officer, Ann Maree Keenan

Every year on 12 May the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birthday, International Nurses Day is celebrated globally.

It offers us a chance to pause and reflect on the remarkable role nurses play in advancing the health and wellbeing of our society, and the leadership that has made our profession what it is today. It also gives us an opportunity to look forward at what is possible and keep progressing. 

The theme for this year’s International Nurses Day is Nurses: A Voice to Lead, Health for All. A theme that resonates loudly throughout every aspect of our profession. As the largest group of the healthcare workforce, we are in a strong position to lead decision making and policy development, ensuring everyone has full access to every aspect of healthcare.

Health for all means enabling access to all aspects of our physical and mental health services and ensuring no one is left behind. If we take the lead from Florence Nightingale, who was tireless in her mission to ensure care for the most vulnerable and poor, this is achievable. 

This year’s theme also reflects our mission at Safer Care Victoria: Outstanding healthcare for all Victorians. Always. Providing safe, quality care is one element of this. As a voice to lead we play a key role in ensuring care is person-centred, meaning it truly puts the person at the centre of healthcare. Being person-centred requires us to the be present for each person, something that we continue to strive for.

Today we celebrate all nurses who work in many settings and many different roles to achieve the vision of Health for All. It is my privilege to be Victoria's Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer and I am proud to be one of more than 100,000 Victorian nurses. 

To all nursing students, enrolled nurses, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, nurse managers, educators and leaders – thank you for the work that you do. Happy International Nurses Day.

Page last updated: 10 May 2019