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Pause for Thought: Thank You, Nurse

International Nurses Day is on 12 May 2022

by Becky May

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To celebrate International Nurses Day and explore why we can be thankful to nurses.

Preparation and materials


  1. Welcome the children to the assembly and begin by asking how they are feeling today.

    Ask the children whether they can think of something that they are thankful for. Invite a few children to contribute their ideas.

  2. Tell the children that it is International Nurses Day this month. It is celebrated around the world on 12 May, which is Florence Nightingale’s birthday.

    Explain that International Nurses Day is a special day for us to give thanks to nurses for everything that they do for us.

  3. Ask the children to think about how nurses have helped them. For example, they may think of a school nurse, some nurses who cared for them or a family member in hospital or a nurse at the local health centre. Some children may have parents or other family members who are nurses too. Invite the children to share some of their experiences.

  4. Remind the children that nurses have been working especially hard during the past couple of years, caring for people who are sick and supporting the vaccine programme. There has never been a more important time for us to thank our nurses for the work that they do.

    The children may remember taking part in the ‘Clap for Carers’ during the first coronavirus lockdown to show their gratitude. Ask the children what we can do to show our appreciation to nurses now.

  5. Remind the children that International Nurses Day takes place on Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Ask whether any of them know who Florence Nightingale was.

    Explain that Florence Nightingale was the founder of modern nursing. In Victorian times, young ladies like her were not expected to work, and especially not in nursing, which, at the time, was considered a dirty, low job. Florence Nightingale raised the profile of nursing and made people value those who care for the sick.

Time for reflection

Encourage the children to make themselves really quiet and think, as you talk to them now.

Remind the children that caring for others is something that we can all do in different ways. Invite the children to think about some of the things that we can do to show care to others.

Explain that the Bible has a lot to say about caring for others. Jesus himself said that when we care for the sick, those in need and those who are hungry, it is like we are caring for Jesus!

Encourage the children to think about what this means. Explain how important it is for us to show others that we care for them. Challenge the children to think about this in the week ahead, and to take the opportunity to show people that they care for them.

Dear God,
Thank you for our amazing nurses.
Thank you for those who nurse us when we are sick and care for us.
Please help us to remember how important it is to care for other people
And to look for opportunities to serve others this week.


‘Help me be your eyes, Lord Jesus’ by Doug Horley, available at: (2.56 minutes long)

‘City on a hill’ by Nick and Becky Drake, available at: (4.40 minutes long)

Extension activities

  1. Consider creating a class display about Florence Nightingale, Mary Seacole and other nurses who have made a difference throughout history. There are lots of suitable resources for children available online.
  2. Invite the children to create some thank-you cards to send to their local GP surgery, hospital or nursing home to thank all those who care for others.
Publication date: May 2022   (Vol.24 No.5)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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