The 2020 Nightingale Challenge calls on employers across the world to invest in developing leadership skills in young nurses. The challenge is an initiative of Nursing Now, the campaign which aims at improving health globally by raising the status and profile of nursing. It was launched on June 27 during the International Council of Nurses (ICN) congress in Singapore.
The Nightingale Challenge will run during 2020 – the Year of the Nurse and Midwife. It challenges every health employer around the world to provide leadership and development training to a group of their nurses aged 35 or younger. The goal of the challenge is for at least 1,000 employers to provide this personal development training, which is not purely clinical, to at least 20,000 nurses.
Significance of the Nightingale Challenge
Nurses are vital to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of Universal Health Coverage. They need to play a far bigger role within the multidisciplinary teams which influence policy aimed at improving health and health care.
Lord Nigel Crisp, Co-Chair of the Nursing Now campaign explained that by participating in the Nightingale Challenge organizations would become part of a great global movement to develop nursing and midwifery.
ICN’s President, Anette Kennedy, emphasized that nurses should be enabled to work to their full potential as leaders, innovators, and advocates within the multi-disciplinary team. “We hear, time and again, that nurses are being held back as leaders,” she said. “We need to seize the opportunity that 2020 gives us to shape a different future for our profession by investing in the next generation.”
We need to seize the opportunity that 2020 gives us to shape a different future for our profession by investing in the next generation
Dalia Srouji, a registered nurse working in neonatal intensive care at a specialty hospital, fully supported the Nightingale Challenge. “The more that nurses take leadership roles, the more that we can change this misconception surrounding our profession,” she said. “And I’m willing to start this change.”
How the Nightingale Challenge will work
Organizations employing nurses are encouraged to join the Nightingale Challenge for 2020 on the Nursing Now website. Participating in the Nightingale Challenge will give the participating organization an opportunity to:
- Enhance your organization’s reputation as a good employer and investor in the careers of young nurses and midwives – during a year in which this issue will be in the spotlight
- Improve recruitment and retention, especially of ‘rising stars’, by being seen as a supporter of nurse and midwives as leaders
- Development of your own workforce’s capability
- Access regional and global content which would normally not be available externally – including Nightingale Challenge webinars from high profile nurse leaders and experts in leadership and management development.
- Network and collaborate with other institutions in your country and abroad that are part of the Nightingale Challenge, to share ideas and learning.
Employers differ in terms of their needs and resources, so each is free to plan their own program to develop nurses aged 35 or younger. The programs can include formal training, mentoring, shadowing or learning from other groups. The only condition is that the programs must include opportunities for personal and leadership development that are not purely clinical.
Organizations will share their plans with Nursing Now at the beginning of 2020 and at the end of the year, report back on what they experienced and achieved.
During the course of the year, Nursing Now will provide coordination, guidance, and support in various forms. Organizations and the nurses themselves will have the opportunity to connect with other participants so that they can learn from each other. Nursing Now will also provide additional content, such as webinars presented by global nurse leaders.
Nurses can change the world
The spotlight placed on the profession by the 2020 Year of the Nurse and Midwife can bring a shift in how governments, and the world at large, view the contributions made by nurses and midwives.
“My message to employers is a simple one. Invest in the leadership potential of the next generation of nurses and midwives and they will change the world,” emphasized Elizabeth Iro, Chief Nursing Officer of the World Health Organization.