View nurses’ jobs as an investment, not a cost, governments are told

Nurse-led care should be the norm for non-communicable diseases, report states

Nurse-led care should be the norm for non-communicable diseases, report states

Picture: Alamy

Health services worldwide should be redesigned to maximise the contribution of nurses in areas such as primary care, health promotion and the prevention and early detection of disease.

The recommendation is in a report by the nursing and universal health coverage forum at the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH).

Leading role for the profession

The authors suggest nurse-based and nurse-led services should be the norm for the management of most non-communicable diseases and that nurses should take on a leading role in primary care, allowing them to support community health workers and coordinate care and resources.

In the report's foreword, World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: ‘Governments must see jobs for nurses and midwives not as a cost, but as an investment in sustainable development.’

The report argues that workforce investment will help achieve a World Health Assembly target of 1 billion more people benefiting from universal health coverage (UHC) within five years.

Politicians need to understand nursing's potential

It says nurses and midwives will only be able to play a greater role when politicians and health leaders raise the profile and status of nursing and midwifery and understand what the professions can contribute.

The report recommends governments: 

  • Redesign services and introduce 'new and innovative services' that maximise the contribution made by nurses and midwives, enabling them to work 'at the top of their licence'.
  • Develop a comprehensive workforce strategy that maximises the contribution of all professions and health workers.
  • Enact supportive legislation and regulation.
  • Raise the profile and status of nursing and midwifery.

The recommendations are being backed by the Nursing Now! campaign, which began in February and was set up to improve health globally by raising the profile and status of nurses.

Nursing Now! aims to influence policymakers and support nurses to lead, learn and build a global movement. Nursing Now! groups have been established without central funding across 40 countries.

Authors of the report include the Nursing Now! and all-party parliamentary group on global health co-chair Lord Nigel Crisp and WISH executive chair Lord Darzi.

Further reading

Click here for the report

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