Duchess of Cambridge tells nurses ‘you’re awe-inspiring’

Duchess helps launch Nursing Now campaign with a call for more nurses to be trained worldwide.
Duchess of Cambridge

Duchess of Cambridge helps launch Nursing Now campaign with a call for more nurses to be trained worldwide

Immediate action is needed if sufficient nurses are to be in place to meet future global health needs, the Duchess of Cambridge said.

She pledged her support to a campaign to promote nursing globally by becoming a patron during a launch event at St Thomas’ Hospital in London today.

Nine million extra nurses needed in next decade

The Nursing Now campaign, run by the International Council of Nurses and the World Health Organization, aims to promote the global reputation of nursing.

Campaigners believe an estimated nine million more nurses will be needed by 2030 and the campaign aims to ensure these professionals are in place.

During her speech, the duchess said the campaign held a personal connection for her because her great-grandmother and grandmother were volunteer nurses.

A compassion only nurses can give

She said: ‘They would have learnt first-hand from working with the voluntary aid-attachment and the Red Cross, of the care and compassion that sometimes only nurses can provide.

‘From what I have seen from visits to hospices and hospitals across the country, nurses are always there.

‘You care for us from the earliest years, you look after us in our happiest and saddest times. And for many, you look after us and our families at the end of our years. Your dedication and professionalism are awe-inspiring.’

‘The numbers show we must act now’

The duchess said she was struck by the profession’s varied roles and surprised to learn of the number of nurses needed to meet future demands.

‘In simple terms, it is about 2,000 more nurses every day for the next 12 years,’ the duchess said.

‘This shows that we must act now, to support and develop nurses with the skills and talent to cope with the future global health needs.’

The launch was live-streamed on Facebook and speeches were heard around the globe.

Nursing Now campaign aims

Speaking in London, Nursing Now global health consultant Catherine Hannaway said there were five aims of the campaign:

  • To advocate nurses’ involvement in providing universal healthcare, with increased focus on mental health.
  • To advocate investment in more nurses, training, standards, working conditions and regulation in the face of changing needs including ageing populations, climate change, disease and migration.
  • To empower nurses to use their knowledge, skills and expertise to their full potential.
  • To support innovative nursing practice and ensure a nursing role in planning, especially in primary and community care.
  • To ensure more nurses have seats on senior health leadership bodies and policy boards, and to create an International Council of Nurses network of senior nurses to assist the World Health Organization’s chief nurse Elizabeth Iro.

Speaking from Geneva, Princess Muna Al-Hussein of Jordan said female-dominated health professions had an important role in promoting gender-equal government policy.