Dear Nursing Colleagues,

Each year, on the 12th of May, we celebrate International Nurses Day to commemorate Florence Nightingale’s birthday, and also to acknowledge the important work nurses are doing all around the world.

As Nurses, we form the backbone of the health workforce globally. It is in our nature to care for others, and because we do, we are in a unique position to not only contribute to the improvement of health of individuals, but populations as well.

This year, for International Nurses Day 2017, ICN has focused its theme on: ‘Nurses: A Voice to Lead, Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS).’

There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that encompass a broad range of sustainable development issues for the world. These SDGs, which were adopted by the United Nations in 2015, aim to end poverty, hunger, improve health and education, combat climate change and many others.

The work we do is not in vain. Over the years, there has been vast improvements in health outcomes globally. However, our work is not done as health among different countries and regions remain unequal and pose a significant challenge. Unlike any other profession, we are there to share very important milestones with our patients. Their joy, sorrow, grief and relief. That is why there is hardly anyone better placed to be an advocate for our patients than nurses.

I am heartened to see that many of our Nursing Leaders are involved in many different projects that contribute to changing the global health landscape, be it through sharing sessions, educational visits, or other activities. Please keep up the good work.

ICN has developed a website, Voice to Lead (, where you may wish to share your own stories and be an inspiration to others.

Your continued support is greatly appreciated and will be needed as we build up to the ICN Congress 2019 in Singapore. This will be the first time the Congress is held in Singapore. The occasion will have an even greater significance as ICN will also celebrate its 120th Anniversary during the Congress.

Once again I would like to wish all Nurses a very happy International Nurses Day and thank you for your continued support.

Yours Sincerely,
A/Prof. Lim Swee Hia, SNA President,
and the SNA Board of Directors