Will 2020 be the official Year of the Nurse?
WHO director-general backs Nursing Now proposal to boost global profile of the profession
WHO director-general backs Nursing Now proposal to boost profile of the profession
Efforts to raise the profile of nursing globally took a step forward with the recommendation that 2020 be the official Year of the Nurse and Midwife.
The Nursing Now campaign made the proposal to the World Health Organization (WHO) last year, and this week the WHO executive board endorsed the suggestion.
The proposal must now be confirmed by its decision-making body the World Health Assembly in May, however Nursing Now said it was confident the recommendation would be accepted.
Crucial to universal health coverage
A spokesperson said the campaign is 'thrilled' to have received support for the idea from WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Speaking at the executive board meeting yesterday, Dr Adhanom Ghebreyesus stressed the importance of nurses in achieving the ambition of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) – where all individuals and communities receive the health services they need without suffering financial hardship.
'Nurses, especially in many low- and middle-income countries, are the bridge between the community and the health institutions,' he said. 'Their role, especially in front-line services, is very important and that is why in UHC their role is crucial.'
He said 2020 was an appropriate year to raise the profile of nursing, as it would also mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.
'We need to celebrate people like her who have contributed greatly to humanity,' he said.
‘A great year for nursing’
The three-year global Nursing Now campaign is being run by the Burdett Trust for Nursing, in collaboration with the International Council of Nurses and WHO.
It aims to raise the profile of nursing and develop the profession's reach and influence at all levels, including in government policy.
A Nursing Now spokesperson said: 'This is a great cause for celebration and a step towards our goal of improving health, gender equality and economic strength by raising the profile and status of nursing.
'2020 will be a great year for nursing.'
The WHO estimates nurses and midwives represent almost half the total number of healthcare workers around the world.
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