The global momentum behind Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is growing, generating support for the goal that everyone – no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they have – will get the quality health care they need and deserve.
It will not be possible to achieve UHC without investing in nursing and enabling nurses to achieve their full potential. UHC relies on nurses because they are close to communities, supervise community health workers and have key strengths in health promotion and prevention – among much else.
In pursuit of the goal of UHC, Nursing Now will:
encourage high-level decision makers within governments, the WHO and World Bank to invest more in nursing as a key means of promoting UHC;
call for assessments of progress on UHC that properly incorporate the impact of nurses; and
empower nurses as champions of UHC.
Influencing health policy and service delivery to enable nurses to have an even bigger impact will require building up evidence of their profession’s contributions to health, economic development and gender equity.
Committed to generating evidence to influence policy, Nursing Now will:
initiate new studies where there are significant gaps in the research;
work with partners to improve and disseminate evidence;
promote research’s role in enhancing nursing’s impact; and
develop global collaborations between researchers looking at nursing.
Nursing Now is already working with partners on the following studies where there are gaps in the research:
A World Innovation Summit for Health study is looking at how to maximise the contribution of nursing to Universal Health Coverage – to be published in November 2018.
The Aga Khan University in Nairobi supported a study on nursing as a route to women’s empowerment based on work in East Africa, published by the Journal of Clinical Nursing.
The National University of Singapore is examining the role of community nursing in high-income countries – to be published in 2019.
A study on the economic and social impact of the nursing workforce is being developed at Harvard – to be published in 2020.
Nursing Now is keen to work with other partners to develop this whole body of research.
The appointment of a Chief Nursing Officer by the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, was an important show of commitment to nurses’ representation at a global governance level.
However, more needs to be done to support nurses as leaders in both policy and practice. It is also not enough to elevate nurses to positions of responsibility; they also need to be given the support and training they need to take on these roles successfully.
Focused on supporting nurses as leaders in health, Nursing Now will:
drive and support advocacy efforts to get more nurses into senior roles and increase nursing’s influence on policy and decision making;
assist Ms Elizabeth Iro in fulfilling her role as WHO Chief Nursing Officer globally; and
work with the International Council of Nurses and other organisations to strengthen and develop programmes for the most senior nurse leaders, and build a network for nurses who have completed these programmes.
support nurses at every level to develop their leadership and quality improvement skills and knowledge, so they can lead and manage change – noting that courses are already offered by the Institute for Health improvement (IHI) and NHS School for Change Agents free of charge.
Nurses can play an important role in making progress on the targets outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
For example, strengthening nursing moves us closer to achieving Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages. As a female-dominated profession, investing in nursing also contributes to Goal 5: Gender equality. In addition, supporting nurses furthers Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth, as it helps make populations more productive through keeping them healthy, while creating jobs that stand the test of time.
Looking to maximise nursing’s contribution to the SDGs, Nursing Now will:
identify areas within the SDGs where nursing can have the most impact;
collaborate with partners to improve the working lives of nurses, while maximising their contributions to economic development;
disseminate evidence on nursing as a route to women’s empowerment.