Nurses everywhere, as well as policymakers and the public, are encouraged to support the Nursing Now campaign to raise the profile and status of nurses and nursing worldwide. The overriding emphasis during the launch of the campaign on February 27 was that Universal Health Coverage (UHC) cannot be achieved without more support and better deployment of nurses worldwide, as well as a greater presence of nurses around policy-making tables.
The campaign has already received high-level support from various public figures, including Kate Middleton, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge who will be the Royal Patron for the campaign. “Nurses are always there. Your dedication and professionalism are awe-inspiring,” she said at the launch. “I want to congratulate you on what you achieve on a daily basis. The difference you make should not go unrecognized.”
The Nursing Now campaign will be run over the next three years, in collaboration with the International Council of Nurses (ICN) and the World Health Organization. It is a truly global campaign with representatives from 16 countries, and all six regions in the world, serving on the board. This includes two young nurses, one from Canada and one from Zimbabwe, who serve as ambassadors for young, novice and student nurses.
“This is a nursing campaign, but it is actually about those of us who are not nurses, to also say it’s time to pay more attention to what nurses can do”
“This is a nursing campaign, but it is actually about those of us who are not nurses, to also say it’s time to pay more attention to what nurses can do,” said Lord Nigel Crisp, Co-Chair of the campaign. He emphasized that the changes in disease patterns, with increased non-communicable diseases and long-term illnesses, required more holistic and person-centered care in the future, which means that nurses will play an ever greater role.
Dr. Catherine Hannaway, the Project Leader, explained that achieving the vision of the campaign would entail a stepped process which needs to be driven with a sense of urgency. The vision is to improve health globally by raising the profile and status of nurses worldwide and this requires influencing policymakers and supporting nurses to lead, learn and build a global movement for change.
Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director of the WHO emphasized that the launch event was just the beginning of what was to be a daily activity. Nurses were the largest force in healthcare and without an effective deployment of this force, it would be impossible to win the battle of achieving UHC. the current priority of the WHO.
“We need a strong nursing workforce so that anyone seeking health care can be confident that the care that they receive is to the highest standards”
“We need a strong nursing workforce so that anyone seeking health care can be confident that the care that they receive is to the highest standards,” said Elizabeth Aro, WHO Chief Nursing Officer. “At the same time, we need nurses and midwives who are competent, motivated and are happy to go to work every day.” This required competent, well-trained nurses and midwives in sufficient numbers, who are properly compensated, and given the scope to extend their roles.
Anette Kennedy, President of the ICN emphasized the need to develop nursing leadership and also announced the release a report and set of resources for nurses to use under the theme “Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Health is a Human Right.”
The Nursing Now campaign will focus on development in five key areas: advocacy with and behalf of nurses; greater investment in nursing and nurses; empowering nurses to develop and work to their full potential; encouraging and supporting nurses to develop innovative practices, and to increase nurses’ influence on national and global health policy.
All nurses and midwives, everywhere, were called on to take action and give their full support to the campaign. Start by signing the pledge of support on the Nursing Now website. Nurses can also become involved by raising awareness of the campaign, sharing experiences and ideas, and becoming agents for change by organizing and advocating for nursing wherever they are.