2020: The Year of the Nurse and the Midwife

Photo credit: ICAP, Zambia, Lusaka

The World Health Organization has announced that 2020 will be the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. For the first time in history, countries around the world will celebrate the contribution of nursing and midwifery. This will also serve to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, one of the founders of modern nursing.

“The 20 million nurses around the world will be thrilled to see their profession recognised in this way. I would like to congratulate WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus for his farsightedness and wisdom in seeing the benefit of highlighting the contribution of nurses to healthcare, and the WHA members for making his vision become a reality,” said Annette Kennedy, President of the International Council of Nurses (ICN).

Lord Nigel Crisp, co-Chair of the Nursing Now campaign said:

“The WHO has provided a unique opportunity both for countries to demonstrate how much they appreciate their nurses and midwives, and to showcase what more nurses and midwives can achieve if given the support to do so. Investing in nursing and midwifery will make an enormous contribution to the rapid, cost-effective and high quality scaling up of universal health care.

‘This is a once in a generation opportunity for governments to really show nurses and midwives how much they are valued, not by empty words, but by effective, decisive action to give us the human and physical resources needed to get the job done.”

In order to promote international support of young nurses and midwives, Nursing Now has launched the Nightingale Challenge 2020. This Challenge calls for every health care employer to provide leadership and development training for 20 young nurses and midwives throughout 2020. The aim is to have at least 20,000 young nurses and midwives benefiting from leadership training, as well as to act as a catalyst for worldwide investment into the next generation of nurses and midwives, to allow them to reach their full potential.

The Nightingale Challenge will be launched at the ICN Congress in Singapore in June 2019. Join us there to hear more about this exciting initiative and to help us plan for 2020. Register here.

Read the official press release here: ICN & Nursing Now press release: 2020 Year of Nurse and Midwife.