The Institute joins nursing leaders to ask the public to ‘shine a light’ at 8:30pm tomorrow (Tuesday 12 May), to mark International Nurses Day on Tuesday (12 May) and recognise the extraordinary work that nurses are doing in the fight against coronavirus.

Tuesday 12 May 2020 also marks on the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, who founded modern nursing and pioneered infection control, but is also famous for her lamp – and the World Health Organization has designated 2020 as International Year of the Nurse to mark the bicentenary of Florence’s birth.

People are urged to shine a light from their window at 8:30pm on Tuesday to mark the day and show their appreciation for all that nurses are doing to save and rebuild the lives of patients with coronavirus.

Thousands of former nurses have returned to help the NHS with the greatest health emergency in its history, and thousands more students have done their bit in the battle against COVID-19 through choosing to take up extended clinical placements.

To mark International Nurses Day and Florence Nightingale’s bicentenary, an image of her and a message of thanks will be projected on to her place of work, St Thomas’s Hospital, from the Houses of Parliament. It will also be projected onto the British Embassy in Rome and the Italian Federation of Nurses between 9 – 11pm.