Press Release 3/2020: Appreciating the role of nurses in society on International Nurses’ Day May 2020

11 May 2020

TO:News Editor
FROM:Ms SA Mchunu
Registrar and CEO


SANC – Appreciating the role of nurses in society on International Nurses’ Day May 2020

The global nursing community is celebrating International Nurses Day on 12 May 2020. The World Health Organisation (WHO) Executive Board designated 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife” in honour of the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale.

How fitting is this theme during the Covid-19 crisis, where nurses are at the forefront of the crisis and serve as the backbone of the profession, often at great cost to themselves and their families. Nurses have never been thrown into the spotlight the way they are now, and have never been needed more. Daily, we are faced with stories of nurses’ compassion, selfless acts, courage and dedication in the midst of this crisis.

The SA Nursing Council is adding its full support to International Nurses Day 2020 with the Council-approved theme: Appreciating the role of nurses in society. This theme carries even more value during the Covid-19 outbreak, as the value of nurses and nursing become paramount in our fight for survival. The SANC is therefore proud to announce the launch of the SANC Nursing Excellence Awards as of 2020. The Awards will focus on conferring annual merit awards for outstanding service by nurses and providing a means for recognizing the contributions of nurses to the profession and to the public.

Nursing is a noble profession which requires the highest degree of professionalism, dedication and care. The health system cannot function without nursing as its backbone. But the stress that nurses work under daily cannot be under-estimated, especially during this pandemic.

Ms S Mchunu, Registrar and CEO: “We acknowledge the efforts and sacrifices made by nurses daily, and especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is the Year of the Nurse in so many ways. We urge nurses and employers to remember that their health and safety are of key importance in the fight against this pandemic. We wish the nurses in South Africa a memorable International Nurses Day. Let us keep alive the words by the late Florence Nightingale: ‘For the sick it is important to have the best’”.


Issued by:
Mrs. Adri van Eeden
Senior Manager: Marketing and Communication
South African Nursing Council 
E-mail :
Website : 
Tel : 012 426-9542

Official Spokesperson and person to be quoted:
Ms. S Mchunu
Registrar and CEO: SA Nursing Council

For more information or to arrange for an interview with the Spokesperson, please contact Mrs. Adri van Eeden on Tel. (012) 426-9542 or email: