Dr. Barbara Stilwell thanks Nursing Now groups for their work during the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife

This message was written by Dr. Barbara Stilwell, Executive Director, Nursing Now.

On behalf of the Nursing Now team, I would like to thank you. Thank you to all the nurses who have continued to work throughout this unprecedented year providing care and comfort. Thank you to our wonderful Nursing Now groups for all that you have done and continue to do to advocate for the future of the nursing profession. You are an inspiration to us all.  

This time last year, we had such high hopes for 2020, the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. There were many plans made to highlight nursing, to raise our profile and to start a conversation with political leaders making the case to invest in nursing. The global COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a seismic shift and this has been a year like none other. 

Despite the cancellation of many in-person campaign plans for the year much has happened virtually and we can all be proud of what has been accomplished during this challenging time. The launch of the State of the World’s Nursing report in April was a landmark moment; over 180 new Nursing Now groups were created, bringing the total to 729 groups worldwide; over 800 health employers accepted the Nightingale Challenge and pledged to provide leadership development to more than 31,000 early career nurses and midwives. We joined together in many virtual events and webinars which created opportunities for policy dialogue, sharing experience and priorities that can help to shape the future direction of nursing. 

We have created a short summary of highlights from the year which you can find here.

We would love to know what your Nursing Now campaign highlights have been from 2020. Please do tell us at info@nursingnow.org

This terrible pandemic has shown all of us how essential is nursing care – expert and experienced clinical skills delivered with empathy and compassion. Your efforts have been recognised through the public applause we have seen in many countries. There cannot be a more important moment for us to speak up and speak out. 

The Nursing Now campaign has been extended until the end of May 2021 and we hope you will join us in a global parliamentary lobby in March aimed at making an evidence-based call for investment and action to ministries of health and finance, elected representatives, decision-makers and budget holders. We are working closely with the International Council of Nurses as they take on responsibility for managing the Nursing Now groups network and watch this space for exciting news about the Nightingale Challenge in 2021. 

We hope you will join us in a grand global celebration of Nursing Now on 24 May 2021 where we will have an opportunity to come together virtually to share experiences and achievements and to discuss future opportunities. 

With warmest wishes to every one of you for a brighter and healthier 2021.