The occasion falls on May 12 - the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s death - and is a chance to celebrate the medical staff working hard every day.
The pandemic didn’t stop the celebrations with many finding alternative ways to recognise healthcare workers.
Rabina Tindale, chief nurse at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) said: “International nurses day is not only to honour Florence Nightingale’s immense leadership but to also thank nurses both in hospitals and in the community for their hard work.
"We also celebrated midwives on the international day of the midwife as they also do amazing work bringing lives into the world, making births memorable and being compassionate to those families that need a friendly face.
"With the pandemic, we were keen not to pause these celebrations as staff worked tirelessly throughout.
"We made sure the day was commemorated in whatever way we could, remaining socially distanced at all times.”
Speaking at a coffee morning and lunch at WWL’s headquarters, held in recognition of their diligence and commitment demonstrated by its nursing staff, Rabina also presented awards and certificates to deserving recipients.
Presentations were given by some of the nursing staff, sharing their progress within nursing and also included recollections of their experiences of working through the pandemic.
This year’s award winners are: Nurse leader of the year – Paige Deegan, registered nurse of the year – Vusile Siphuma, unregistered nurse of the year – Rachel Heyes, learner of the year – Yasmina Reina Cuadrado, nurse degree apprenticeships – Gillian Fields, Michael Maguire and Doreen Holmes and nurse associates – Liz Fernley, Karen Monaghan, Rachael Leyland, Girlie B Chadderton, Tom Wiseman, Emma Cleary, Charlotte Tobbell and Hannah Roberts.
Gillian Fields, a student nurse who was an award winner, said: “It was quite an emotional moment to receive this recognition from our chief nurse in front of senior nursing leaders.
“I’ve worked in healthcare for 20 years, and the support I received from my colleagues to become a qualified nurse has been amazing.”
Following the mornings celebrations, Rabina and members of her senior team visited the clinical areas across the trust in the afternoon.
As well as the awards, wellbeing baskets, including refreshments, biscuits and thank you cards, were sent to each area across the trust and a special Vision of Excellence evening was held at Kilhey Court.
Ms Tindale also highlighted the importance of the day and how it can help recruitment.
She added: “Each day is a difficult day being a nurse and it is a challenging job 24/7 but is also extremely rewarding.
"During covid it was extremely busy, with staff being redeployed to other areas and forced to step out their comfort zone.
"These people go above and beyond for patients but don’t always celebrate themselves so it is important we honour them.
"International nurses day is also a great way to showcase the profession and allows us to promote working at WWL.
"There is currently a national shortage of nurses and like many other organisations we are in the process of recruiting internationally.
"However we want to shine a spotlight on local nurses and encourage those considering the career to get in touch.”