Nurse appointments at top tables

Thanks to the appointment of two women called Elizabeth, nursing looks set to improve its standing worldwide.

Thanks to the appointment of two women called Elizabeth, nursing looks set to improve its standing worldwide

Nursing has not enjoyed the standing around the world that it deserves at any time in its history, but recent developments suggest this could finally be about to happen. It is thanks to the appointments of two women called Elizabeth and an international campaign on the profession’s impact.

The organisation that represents nurses across Europe has announced that Elizabeth Adams, director of professional development at the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, has been elected as its new president.

The European Federation of Nurses Associations promotes the interests of nurses across the continent, and will be seeking to ensure that the profession is not affected negatively by Brexit.


Meanwhile, Elizabeth Iro has been named chief nursing officer of the World Health Organization (WHO), a long overdue appointment given that WHO has not had a nurse anywhere near its top table for seven years.

Ms Iro has 30 years’ experience as a nurse, midwife and policymaker in the Cook Islands and New Zealand.

WHO has already given its backing to the Nursing Now! campaign, which was announced in summer 2017 and will be launched fully in January 2018. Led by Lord Nigel Crisp, former chief executive of NHS England and top official at the UK Department of Health, the campaign will highlight the international shortage of nurses and promote the profession’s value in improving global health.

These are all positive developments that will only be enhanced if the International Council of Nurses and the RCN can find a way of settling their financial differences so that the UK can once again join nursing’s top table.


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