Launching New Projects in the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife

Highlights of 2019

Delegates at ICN Congress in Singapore

It was a banner year of professional highlights topped by participating in the International Council of Nurses Congress in Singapore where I presented a poster with Susan Duncan and met other delegates from many countries. Also in Singapore it was a great pleasure to reconnect with the team from the Canadian Nurses Association and other Canadian delegates representing nursing education, unions, professional associations and regulators. Susan Duncan and I wrote post-ICN reflections in blog posts and have appreciated the positive comments in response.

Susan Duncan and Nora Whyte in Singapore – June 2019
UBC Gala – May 2019

Other highlights included celebrating the Centenary of the UBC School of Nursing throughout 2019 by attending a beautiful gala in May and the inaugural Verna Huffman Splane Public Health Nursing Lecture in September. Both events provided opportunities to honour those who have contributed to the profession, to meet colleagues and to build on the legacy of earlier generations of leaders

Looking Ahead

The International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife has launched and will be a focus of global attention and action throughout 2020. Barbara Stilwell, executive director of Nursing Now, has written an excellent overview in Off the Charts – the blog of the American Journal of Nursing – in which she notes the current challenge of a global workforce crisis, the vital role of nurses and midwives in contributing to universal health coverage and new opportunities to raise the visibility of nursing and midwifery during 2020. Read her post here and visit the Nursing Now site for updates.

My own 2020 projects include:

  • Involvement with the Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC (NNPBC). I have signed up for NNPBC’s Ambassador Program and look forward to contributing to our professional association in British Columbia through an exciting new phase of activity getting underway this year.
  • Continuation of writing projects with colleagues including blog posts on policy themes.
  • Contract work with the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council Nursing Department to update nursing policies in preparation for accreditation this year.

As we move into the first month of 2020, I remain committed to my local and global involvement and will follow events with interest in what promises to be an outstanding moment for our profession.

By Nora Whyte – January 7, 2020

Twitter: @NoraBWhyte

International Nurses Day 2019

In advance of International Nurses Day on May 12, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) has produced a new publication for this year’s campaign: Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Health for All. Case studies and photographs from different countries are woven into the document adding rich examples of nursing’s voice to lead in the current era. See the International Nurses Day Resource page to download the full document or to view online.

2019 IND Theme – Credit: ICN

The introductory message from ICN President Annette Kennedy provides inspiration on this year’s theme of Health for All. She describes nursing advocacy for improved health and health services in communities and at the level of the United Nations General Assembly.  She notes that the “time is ripe for nurses to assert their leadership” and concludes by stating “…nursing has vast potential and value if appropriately harnessed to finally achieve the vision of Health for All.” (ICN 2019, p. 4).

The three-part document begins with a section on Health for All outlining the background of the global health for all movement initiated in 1978 at the Alma Ata conference on primary health care. It presents links from Alma Ata to the current push for universal health coverage. The second section – Global Health Challenges Affecting Health for All – offers an in-depth look at six current and future health challenges and ways in which nurses are contributing to solutions.

I found the third and final section on Leadership to be particularly interesting – linking the historical roots of nursing leadership to a renewed political focus. One case study features a parliamentarian in Malawi who draws on her public health nursing background to make a difference in improving her country’s health system.  A second case study highlights the work of the Nurses on Boards Coalition aimed at having more nurses on boards, panels and commissions where they can bring an effective presence on health-related policy initiative.

I recommend this publication as a great resource to be studied and discussed beyond National Nursing Week in Canada (May 6 to 12). See the ICN and Canadian Nurses Association websites for additional content, posters and ideas.

By Nora Whyte – April 26, 2019