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European nursing and midwifery strategy set to be adopted

A strategy for nursing and midwifery until 2020 will be adopted by all World Health Organization European region countries.

A new Europe-wide strategy, which will set out priorities for nursing and midwifery, is due to be adopted this month. 

The five-year strategy, titled European strategic directions for strengthening nursing and midwifery towards Health 2020 goals, is closely tied to Health 2020, the overarching public health strategy which all World Health Organization European region countries have signed up to. 

It covers not only European Union nations, but also 53 countries across Europe including Russia, Georgia, Belarus and Armenia.  

Chief nursing officer for Wales Jean White acted as an adviser on the strategy and said it will provide direction for UK governments.

She said: ‘This is not written for our front line nurses, it is written for government, saying we should be looking at things like pay and conditions, education, career frameworks and regulations. 

‘Some of the countries involved don’t even have nurse tutors. 

‘We have to pick out the elements we need to focus our attention on and then work out strategic policy directives to say what happens next.’

She added: ‘For us in the UK a lot of things are not going to be a huge stretch. 

‘For example, degree level education for midwives – we’ve had that for a long time.’

She said other elements of the strategy will need to be considered in the UK, but she did not want to comment on them before the strategy is approved. 

European health ministers will meet on September 15 in Lithuania, where they are expected to accept the strategy.

Further information

Read the five-year strategy: European strategic directions for strengthening nursing and midwifery towards Health 2020 goals

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