Hymns for International Nurses Day (12 May)

This is a selection of suggested hymns and songs for church services marking International Nurses Day - or indeed any service which is dedicated to the nursing profession.

Ideally, most suggestions are free-to-use (ie public domain or copyright-free) hymns and songs, so the words can be copied and sung to at least one tune with no concerns about copyright or performance licensing. Many such hymns are old/traditional - but where possible a variety of styles / genres are included.  A small number of hymns that are still copyright may also be included, if they are particularly relevant - or if the selection of free-use hymns is limited.

Because there are very few hymns written specifically about nursing, the suggestions here are based on broad health and healing themes, as well as trust in and thanksgiving for God's healing.

About International Nurses Day

The International Council of Nurses designated Florence Nightingale’s birthday, 12 May, as International Nurses Day in recognition of the dedication and achievements of the nursing profession. Nightingale,known around the world as the “Lady with the Lamp”, nursed British soldiers during the Crimean War and established nursing as a profession.

Nurses Day is an opportunity for nurses around the world to celebrate the work done by members of the profession to keep Nightingale’s spirit alive by both caring for people who are sick, and advocating for policies to keep people healthy. The first International Nurses Day was held in 1971.

For churches and religious communities - some of which have substantial committments to nursing and healthcare - it is a chance to honour and give thanks for the service of people who work as nurses, and to pray for health-related concerns in our communities.



Suggested free-use hymns

All My Hope on God is Founded

Balm in Gilead

God be in my Head

I Need Thee Every Hour

In Heavenly Love Abiding

Love Divine, All Love Excelling

O Jesus I Have Promised

Precious Lord Take my Hand

Take My Life and Let It Be

There is a Healing Branch that Grows


Suggested hymns which may still be copyright

Bring Christ Your Broken Life - Simpson

Called to Shed Light - Fawcett

Christ has no Body now but Yours - settings by Talbot, Ogden, Warner, Lawton and others

Deep in the Darkness a Starlight is gleaming - Berry

For the Healing of the Nations - Kaan

Healer of the Sick - Leftley

Jesu Jesu Fill us with Your Love (Kneels at the feet) - Colvin

Lay Your Hands - Landry

Lord of all Hopefulness - Struther

Lord we Come to ask Your Healing - Holloway

Nurses Anthem - Jones

Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) hymn

We Cannot Measure How You Heal - Bell



More suggestions are welcome - please leave a message in the Comments box at the bottom of the page.



Resources for church-music selection



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