The President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee conferred the Florence Nightingale Awards to 35 nurses from across the country on the occasion of International Nurses Day at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, in the presence of Shri J P Nadda, Minister for Health and Family Welfare.
The President congratulated the award winners and said that nurses play a vital role in all aspects of healthcare, be it national health campaigns like polio eradication, mid-wife services and community education. Their level of commitment and care are much valued in both urban and rural areas, including remote areas of the country. The President added that their contribution is critical in the achievement of the nation’s health care goals. Their inputs into health sector policies are equally important for they help in creating the necessary supportive work environment for their practice, he added
The President while commending all the nurses for their compassion, discipline and commitment to healthcare said that developing resilient health systems is a key to realize the United Nation’s Millennium Developmental Goals. Emerging global threats such as microbial resistance, new pandemics, infections, and natural disasters have added to the pressure and demands on healthcare services. The services of nurses are crucial for a response system that a government creates to meet these challenges, the President said.
Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Shri J P Nadda congratulated the award winners and appreciated their exemplary services. Acknowledging the strong caring and compassionate attitude of the nursing community, the Health Minister said that nurses play a pivotal role in providing healthcare at the primary, secondary and tertiary level. He added that through the competence they have demonstrated themselves to be role models for the young generation. He elaborated on the various schemes and initiatives taken up by the Ministry for strengthening and upgrading the infrastructure and human resource in the nursing sector.
Shri J P Nadda also informed that the Ministry has undertaken number of initiatives for strengthening of nursing cadre. Some of them are Establishment of ANM/GNM Schools, Upgradation of institutions from School of Nursing to College of Nursing, Training of Nurses, and Development of Nurse Practitioner Courses for Critical Care and Primary Healthcare services. The Minister further added that the National Nursing and Midwifery Portal is being developed to bring out all nursing related information like Government of India initiatives in the field of Nursing, information regarding Nursing and Midwifery education and human resource availability in the country, circulars, notifications, job opportunities and E-learning modules at a single platform.
Speaking on the occasion the Health Minister stated that work on creating an Indian Nurses Live Register will help in getting the latest, correct and real-time information of the current human resources in the field of Nursing in India. A technology platform called the Live Register has been initiated to include, capture and up-date the latest information of currently practicing nurses. This will help the Government in better manpower planning and for making policy level decisions for the nursing professionals in India, Shri Nadda pointed out.
The Florence Nightingale awards are given to the outstanding nursing personnel employed in Central, State/UTs. Nurses working in Government, Voluntary Organizations, Mission institutions and the private institutions can apply with the due recommendation of concerned State Government. The Florence Nightingale Awards carries Rs.50, 000/- cash, a certificate, a citation certificate and a Medal.
Also present at the award ceremony were Sh B P Sharma, Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) and senior officers from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare along with invitees.