International Council of Nurses announces International Nurses Day theme for 2021

Geneva, Switzerland; 15 October 2020 – The International Council of Nurses (ICN) today announced the theme for International Nurses Day 2021 (#IND2021).  Following on from previous years, the overarching theme for IND is Nurses: A Voice to Lead. The sub-theme for 2021 is A Vision for Future Healthcare.

“The global COVID-19 pandemic has shown the world the important role that nurses play in keeping people healthy across the lifespan,” said Annette Kennedy, ICN President. “While there has been significant disruption to healthcare, there has also been significant innovation that has improved access to care. In 2021, we will focus on the changes to and innovations in nursing and how this will ultimately shape the future of healthcare.”

Howard Catton, ICN Chief Executive Officer, added, “The pandemic has exposed the weaknesses in our health systems and the enormous pressures our nurses are working under, as well as shining a light on their incredible commitment and courage. What the pandemic has also done is given us the opportunity to call for a reset and the opportunity to explore new models of care where nurses are at the centre of our health systems. We can only achieve this vision of future healthcare by generating new policies that pave the way for this sea-change and that is another key area IND2021 will seek to focus on.”

The IND2021 theme reflects on the impact of COVID-19 on the health system and the nursing profession and how these might be affected into the future. Nurses, as the largest healthcare profession, must play an integral part in planning the future of healthcare.

Every year, ICN produces a range of resources to inform the public and support nurses on International Nurses Day. This includes a report, case studies, posters, videos, interviews and social media banners and logos. ICN is calling on nurses to share their stories in the form of a case study to be a part of IND2021. Guidelines and templates on how to submit a case study can be found here. Case studies submissions and any questions should be sent to Previous cases studies and IND resources can be found at

International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every 12 May, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. ICN commemorates this important day each year by choosing a theme and producing IND resources and evidence.