On the occasion of the International Nurses Day on 12 May 2014, President Pranab Mukerjee conferred the Florence Nightingale Awards to 35 nurses from across the country at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi
Congratulating the awardees, the President said that they have distinguished themselves through their exceptional service and extraordinary dedication in the care of the sick and the infirm, and that they have brought credit to a vocation that is chosen by the most selfless and compassionate among us. He said that today nurses are the largest workforce in the healthcare industry in India. Nursing services and capacity building have expanded considerably since Independence and their roles and responsibilities have multiplied over the years, the President said.
The President further said that India’s healthcare industry today is worth more than 45 billion dollars. It, however, accounts for less that 1 percent of the global healthcare industry – even though it serves about 17 percent of the world population. The strength of nurses in India is currently 0.8 nurses per 1000 citizens, he stated. This, compared to the world average of 3 nurses per 1000 is quite low. To come closer to the world average, our healthcare system would need to add about 2 million more nurses to its numbers, the President said.
The award is conferred every year on 12 May as the world on this day observes International Nurses’ Day. Theme chosen by the International Council of Nurses for this year is “Nurses: A force for change – A vital resource for health”.