As nurses we serve in the vanguard of health care at the center of the care team, working in all specialties and patient groups. We play important roles in quality care provision, as well as disease prevention, wellness teaching and health promotion — working to advance care, lead change, have a voice and make a difference. And we do it in all settings.
The present and growing trend to care for patients out in the community is an important chapter in our profession’s ongoing transformation. Nurses help care models evolve and help increase access to care at home and across the globe.
Clear evidence of this is the February launch of Nursing Now, a three-year campaign to improve global health by the Burdett Trust for Nursing in collaboration with the World Health Organization and International Council of Nurses. Aimed at empowering nurses to help tackle the many health challenges being faced in the 21st century, the initiative is set to run through 2020 by a campaign board of nurses and non-nurses from 16 different countries.
Goal is to extend nursing’s reach
“The ICN is proud to be part of Nursing Now,” International Council of Nurses President Annette Kennedy said in a news release. “Through our 133 national nursing associations, we know the great work nurses are doing to deliver care and improve health.”
The five main programs of the Nursing Now campaign include:
- Universal health coverage – ensuring quality healthcare for everyone
- Evidence of impact – building evidence of the contributions of our profession
- Leadership and development – supporting nurses as leaders in policy and practice
- Sustainable development goals – ensuring health, gender equality and economic growth
- Sharing effective practice – disseminating and improving access to collections of effective practice
Nursing Now believes nurses who work together in communities can be the beginning of global changes in healthcare that will grow to benefit more people. They see challenges to face and work to be done, but their campaign goals are to accomplish both.
In the following excerpt from the campaign’s vision, we see a clear call to action: “The changing needs of the 21st century mean nurses have an even greater role to play in the future. New and innovative types of services are needed — more community and home-based, more holistic and people-centered, with increased focus on prevention and making better use of technology. These are all areas where nurses can play a leading role. However, maximizing nurses’ contributions will require that they are properly deployed, valued and included in policy and decision-making.”
Help spread the word about Nursing Now
“The need for collective support, highlighting the role of nurses and the impact that investing in the nursing workforce will have on the health of the population and, in turn, on the economy, is now more important than ever,” Kennedy said.
A federation of various nurse associations, ICN’s goal is “to ensure care for all and sound health policies globally.” Working in more than 130 countries, operated by nurses since its founding in 1899, and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, it is the world’s first and most far-reaching international professional healthcare organization.
“Health workers are the DNA of health systems,” Elizabeth Iro, World Health Organization chief nursing officer, said in a WHO news release on the campaign. “Nurses and midwives represent the largest share of health workers and provide care for our families and our communities when we need them most.”
No matter where we practice, our professional nursing goals to provide quality care and service to patients make us leaders as well as members of the larger global nursing community. There is a role for each of us to play, and a place in which to play it, whether that be around the corner or across the world.
We all need to be involved. As leaders, we can talk with our nurses about the Nursing Now campaign and how they can participate. The campaign is asking nurses to:
- Pledge your support and take action.
- Show your support via social media.
- Develop a regional or national Nursing Now group.
- Stay up to date on Nursing Now news.
Let’s spread the word about Nursing Now and think about how we can help promulgate its information in our facilities, schools and communities. Add your ideas on how nurses can get involved to the comments section below, and encourage your staff to stay informed and look at ways to be part of this exciting and inspiring new initiative. Let’s keep the dialogue going and the Nursing Now campaign moving.
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