This article originally appeared on the website of Waikato Institute of Technology
In celebration and recognition of Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has designated 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.
Today is World Health Day and it is dedicated to our modern-day Florence Nightingales, many who are at the front-line of the COVID-19 pandemic or preparing for it. It’s also the day, WHO released the first-ever State of the World’s Nursing report which Wintec has contributed to.
Development of the report has been a partnership between WHO, ICN (the International Council of Nurses) and Nursing Now, supported by an expert advisory panel that includes Wintec Centre Director, Health and Social Practice, Professor Sharon Brownie.
The report provides the latest, most up-to-date evidence on and policy options for the global nursing workforce. It also presents a compelling case for considerable – yet feasible – investment in nursing education, jobs, and leadership.
Professor Brownie was appointed as a member of the expert advisory panel, collecting international data and informing the development of the report, in her previous role as Dean of Nursing and Midwifery at the Agha Khan University in East Africa. Her involvement continued when she joined Wintec in January this year.
“Nursing is the largest occupational group in the global health sector, accounting for approximately 59 percent of our health professions, therefore the quality of nursing education and support is paramount to nurses’ success.
“Wintec has been part of this global collaboration which makes important recommendations regarding the future directions for nursing education. This report is an influential and future-forward directive for the education, health, wellbeing and retention of our nurses and midwives,” says Professor Brownie.
As well as highlighting areas for policy development, the report provides a technical description of the nursing workforce around the world, including the number and types of nurses, education, regulation, leadership and gender issues.
Professor Brownie says this will influence teaching and learning at Wintec which also recognises local factors influencing the nursing workforce including the need for cultural responsiveness and more Māori and Pasifika nurses and midwives within our communities.
The State of the World’s Nursing report is now available online.
A similar report for midwifery will be released in 2021.
This year World Health Day has been marked as a day to celebrate the work of our nurses and midwives and remind world leaders of the critical role they play in keeping the world healthy. Throughout 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, a series of virtual events are taking place around the world to celebrate and acknowledge our nurses and midwives.