Nursing Now hosts webinar to discuss global plans for 2020, the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife

Earlier this month, nurses from around the world joined a Nursing Now webinar to discuss plans for 2020, the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife with partners the International Council of Nurses and World Health Organization.

On 14th November, Nursing Now hosted a webinar to give an overview of key events planned for 2020 and encouraged individual nurses and organisations to share their plans for this special year-long celebration.

World Health Organization Chief Nursing Officer Elizabeth Iro said that 2020 provides a once in a lifetime opportunity for the nursing profession and shared her priorities for the year, stating:

“It’s a celebration and an opportunity to contribute and highlight what we can do [to achieve] universal health coverage and primary health care. It’s also an opportunity to reflect on […] how best we can address the 18 million shortfall of health workers. We need to make the most of driving the investment case for nursing and midwifery.”

She said it is essential that we ensure that nurses around the world have quality education and improved working conditions.

“We should also look to elevating our status and our leadership roles in support for women and girls. We need to convince government leaders that investments in our professions go a long way to achieving these global health targets for our countries and internationally.”

Nursing Now’s Executive Director, Dr. Barbara Stilwell discussed the importance of amplifying our messages on the global stage and explained that a letter about the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife will be sent to all heads of state, politicians, policymakers and global religious leaders, asking them to include their commitment and support for nurses and midwives in their New Year messages and throughout the year. ICN CEO Howard Catton expressed his hope that this letter will be a catalyst and will encourage nurses to reach out to their own countries’ leaders, asking for their support.

On 7th April, World Health Day, the State of the World’s Nursing report will be launched in Geneva. This report will highlight, for the first time, how many nurses there are in the world, where they are, where they are needed, and the issues they face. ICN’s Howard Catton explained that ICN will host a meeting for National Nursing Associations in May, ‘for them to get to grips with the detail of the report.’ He also explained that the last data for the report had been received and is now being analysed. 

In May 2020 there are a number of key dates to remember:

  • 12 May is International Nurses Day and the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, and 5 May is International Day of the Midwife.
  • Every two years, immediately before the World Health Assembly (WHA) there are meetings run by WHO, ICN and ICM for countries’ chief nursing and midwifery officers, National Nursing and Midwifery Associations and regulators. The dates for these meetings in 2020 are 13-15 May.
  • From 14 – 20th May, in partnership with the World Innovation Summit for Health, the International Council of Nurses and Sigma Theta Tau International, Nursing Now will host a pre-World Health Assembly Workshop in Geneva.
  • On 16 May there will be a meeting in Geneva on health professions regulation, followed the next day by the start of the WHA. 

Dr Stillwell said other important dates for next year include the ICN Advanced Practice Nursing Network conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia at the end of August, which will showcase what nurses can do if they work to the top of their license and have a legal framework that allows them to do that. 

In October, there will be a lobby of parliamentarians using the evidence from the State of the World’s Nursing report and questions that came out of it. 

Dr Stillwell said. “We are going to ask you to go to your parliament to meet your representatives and ministers and do something very noticeable – go at the same time of day so that it rolls around the world. Get ready for that, get involved, make sure you know what the data is and what it is showing about your country, and prepare your own manifesto about what you want to happen in your country that you can present to your parliament.”

The final big international event of the Year of the Nurse celebrations will be the Nightingale 2020 conference, which will be held in London towards the end of October.

To see all of the events planned for 2020, see our 2020 timeline where you can add your own events.  See here: 

To listen to this webinar, click the links below:

Part 1: 2020 YoNM webinar recording 141119_1

Part 2: 2020 YoNM webinar recording 141119_3

Part 3: 2020 YoNM webinar recording 141119_4

Part 4: 2020 YoNM webinar recording 141119_6

More information and resources for 2020, International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife will be shared in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!