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Global campaign to spot future nurse leaders begins

Nightingale Challenge aims to nurture leadership potential of nurses and midwives under 35

Nightingale Challenge aims to nurture leadership potential of nurses and midwives under 35


Lord Crisp with nurse educator, HIV/AIDS expert and Nursing Now co-chair
Sheila Tlou at the ICN’s Singapore congress. Picture: John Houlihan

A global campaign designed to nurture future nursing and midwifery leaders has begun.

The Nightingale Challenge aims to persuade 1,000 employers of nurses and midwives worldwide to identify nurses under the age of 35 with leadership potential to steer the professions in the future.

Developing a new generation of leaders

The goal of the programme is to develop a total of 20,000 nurse and midwife leaders.

‘We hear, time and again, that nurses are being held back as leaders. We need to seize the opportunity to shape a different future’

Annette Kennedy, ICN president

It comes from the global Nursing Now campaign to improve the profile and standing of nursing as profession.

The campaign coincides with next year’s WHO-designated Year of the Nurse and Midwife and the bicentenary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

‘It’s now or never’

Nursing Now co-chair Nigel Crisp, who also chairs the UK all-party parliamentary group on global health, told an ICN congress audience in Singapore that next year's celebrations meant the time was right to increase the influence of the professions.

‘This is a one-off opportunity. There isn’t going to be another,’ Lord Crisp said.

Investment in the future

ICN president Annette Kennedy added: ‘It is essential nurses are enabled to play a bigger role in multidisciplinary teams, working to their full potential to innovate, to lead and to advocate.

‘We hear, time and again, that nurses are being held back as leaders. We need to seize the opportunity that 2020 gives us to shape a different future for our profession by investing in the next generation.’

The Nightingale Challenge is headed by Health Education England chief nurse Lisa Bayliss-Pratt and run by the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Council of Nurses (ICN), and the Burdett Trust for Nursing.

Find out about the Nightingale Challenge


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