Highlights of 2023

My professional highlight of 2023 was attending the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Congress in Montreal in July. I wrote about the experience in my summer post on the ICN Congress and have been reflecting on both the content and organization of the event since then. I was glad to meet new people and also to renew acquaintances with colleagues, some of whom I am connected with on social media and enjoy following their updates and commentary.

Photo credit: Renata Mares

The ICN Congress provided opportunities to hear from people I follow such as James Buchan and Howard Catton who discussed their report published by ICN Recover to Rebuild: Investing in the Health Workforce for Health System Effectiveness. Their key message is “that without sufficient investment in well-supported nurses there can be no effective healthcare system recovery and rebuild” (Buchan & Catton, 2023, p. 4).

The experience in Montreal alerted me to watch for and share statements from Dr. Pamela Cipriano, ICN President, and Howard Catton, CEO, in the latter half of the year during the UN General Assembly and other global meetings. Continuing on its important ‘Nurses for Peace’ campaign, the ICN Board issued a strong statement in November on the Israel-Gaza conflict and maintains a dynamic presence on social media. See links below to recent statements:

UN Declaration on Universal Health Care

Universal Healthcare Day Statement

Climate and Health Declaration at COP28

Statement on the Israel-Gaza Conflict

In addition to the experience of the sessions at the ICN Congress, I participated in several webinars offered throughout the year including events hosted by the Canadian Nurses Association: the annual meeting in June and a town hall in September. A notable webinar at the end of the year was a highly informative session with Natalie Bryant from Australia featuring her current work on ‘Indigenist Critical Policy Analysis’. Grounded in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, it is a framework for assessing organizational policies to determine whether they uphold Indigenous rights and address issues in their policy processes. I look forward to learning more about using the framework. Thanks to the BC Indigenous Health Nursing Research Program and the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council Nursing Services Department for hosting this session.

My consulting focused on work with the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council as we concluded a community-based research project last year. As a team member, it was satisfying to have our article published in the Canadian Journal of Nursing Leadership:

Watts. J., Bourque Bearskin, L. Blackstone, D.  Christiansen, S. Young, K., Charleson, J., Charleson, R., Fraser, J., Sangster-Gormley, E., Dick, V., Duncan, S., & Whyte, N. (2023). Nursing the Nuu-chah-nulth Way: Communities driving nursing policy priorities. Canadian Journal of Nursing Leadership, 35(4), 55–67. doi:10.12927/cjnl.2023.27073

Another major highlight was the 50th Reunion of our UBC School of Nursing Class (BSN 1973) in May. It was a great, happy time of reminiscing and also gave us a chance to have conversations with classmates about our careers, families, and current interests. We spent time on the UBC campus and had a lovely evening at the Vancouver home of a classmate, Sherri Adams. The reunion committee did a fantastic job of arranging this milestone celebration!

My personal and professional worlds are intertwined in multiple ways. I think back on discussions this past year with a core group of friends and colleagues where the topics have covered writing and reading, conferences, career and retirement decisions, personal changes, the state of the world, travel, and gardening. Supportive friends, family, and close colleagues make it all worthwhile as the years go by.

By Nora Whyte – January 5, 2024

I acknowledge with respect that I live and work on the Unceded traditional territory of the K’òmoks First Nation.

Winter 2023 in the Comox Valley

Universal Health Coverage: New Political Declaration

Earlier this year I wrote about Universal Health Coverage (UHC) being on the agenda for 2023 in anticipation of the United Nations High-Level Meeting on UHC. The meeting took place in New York this September during the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The resulting political declaration adopted on September 21 is entitled “Universal Health Coverage: expanding our ambition for health and well-being in a post-COVID world.”

The Political Declaration has 109 points beginning with background on past agreements and UNGA resolutions and moving into our current global context including urgent action needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The World Health Organization issued a media release on September 21 celebrating the approved declaration with its strong focus on primary health care:

In the Political Declaration, Heads of State and world leaders committed to take key national actions, make essential investments, strengthen international cooperation and global solidarity at the highest political level to accelerate progress towards UHC by 2030, using a primary health care (PHC) approach.

For health care to be truly universal, it requires a shift from health systems designed around diseases to systems designed for people. PHC, an approach to strengthening health systems centred on people’s needs, is one of the most effective areas for investment to accelerate progress towards UHC.”

Further, as stated in the declaration , political leaders are called to recognize and act upon the health inequities that exist within and among countries. Throughout the document there is a call for greater political commitment along with global solidarity and cooperation to tackle “social, economic, environmental and other determinants of health” and to eliminate barriers to health care access. There are numerous points on Health Human Resources highlighting the need for national governments to invest in their health workforce and to attend to issues of migration.

UHC2030 Coalition

The UHC2030 Coalition continues its excellent advocacy as well as its educational work on UHC. The Action Agenda serves as a clear framework: Action Agenda from the UHC Movement – UHC2030

Credit: UHC2030 Coalition

See also the statement issued on September 26: Statement of the UHC2030 co-chairs on the adoption of the Political Declaration on Universal Health Coverage – UHC2030

International Council of Nurses

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) was represented at the UNGA by President Dr. Pam Cipriano who gave presentations during the High-Level Meetings on Health. It was great to know that ICN brought strong global nursing expertise and presence to the deliberations. ICN had contributed to the Action Agenda as a member of UN High-Level Meeting Task Force. As Dr. Cipriano stated:

The political declaration gives governments an opportunity to make a clearsighted and enduring change that will make a real difference by giving everyone equitable access to the health care that they need. Governments must not only make these commitments; They must follow through with the necessary investment to make these historic changes a reality that will benefit many millions of people who currently have little or no access to basic health care.”

ICN’s coverage included these media releases:

https://www.icn.ch/news/icn-president-says-universal-health-coverage-will-only-be-achieved-2030-if-there-dramatic

https://www.icn.ch/news/icn-president-calls-resilient-health-systems-un-high-level-meeting-pandemic-prevention

Much more will be written about the UHC movement, the SDGs and the UHC 2030 action agenda. We need to ensure that the momentum is sustained along with the renewed enthusiasm for primary health care.

Credit: World Health Organization

By Nora Whyte – September 27, 2023

I acknowledge with respect that I live and work on the Unceded traditional territory of the K’òmoks First Nation.

ICN Congress 2023

Volunteers welcoming delegates
Credit: Renata Mares

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) held its 2023 Congress in Montreal from July 1 to 5, co-hosted by the Canadian Nurses Association. It marked the first in-person congress since 2019 and attracted 6,200 nurses from 145 countries. 

Delegates at ICN Congress, in national dress, before opening ceremony.
Delegates before opening ceremony – July 1st.

The congress theme – Nurses together: a force for global health – was evident throughout the event with inspiring plenary sessions by global leaders. In particular, I enjoyed several panel presentations featuring leaders from different countries and two policy cafés facilitated by ICN staff. Although it was impossible to take in all the presentations, it helped to talk with other participants about sessions they had attended. A customized congress app provided the daily schedule and access to all the abstracts and e-posters; it served as a useful tool throughout the event and to review information later.

Three volunteers at Booth at ICN Congress.
Volunteers at ICN Booth
Credit: Renata Mares

Plenary sessions focused on nursing workforce issues in the aftermath of the pandemic. I noticed greater awareness about ethical international recruitment practices and the urgency to ensure safe working environments. ICN leaders highlighted the new Charter for Change directed at government policy actions as the focus of a campaign, “Our Nurses. Our Future.” On the final day, we listened to powerful video presentations by nursing leaders living through current conflicts and disasters; we were touched by their courage in the midst of all the losses they have experienced.

Policy café: (Left to right) Mr. Howard Catton,
Dr. Amelia Tuipulotu & Dr. James Buchan

The new WHO Chief Nurse, Dr. Amelia Latu Afuhaamango Tuipulotu, was an active presence throughout the congress (and I was so pleased to have had a chance to speak with her at the end!). She moderated an excellent session on the current global agenda for nursing and midwifery in the context of Universal Health Coverage and also spoke about the importance of nurses’ voices in health policy.

Personal highlights included seeing people I’ve known over the years, especially nursing leaders from other countries and Canadian friends and colleagues. As we’ve remarked to one another, the mood was somewhat sombre and we sensed the fatigue nurses have experienced from the pandemic period along with global conflicts and humanitarian disasters. Some of the usual excitement found in these gatherings was missing although many attendees were enthusiastic about the opportunity to be together in Montreal. I especially enjoyed hearing impressions from first-time participants.

Outdoor Break at Congress Centre

Social media provided a glimpse into participants’ reactions to sessions and meetings throughout the congress. It gave us a sense of what was happening and who was attending; I made some new social media connections too! The ICN team sent out a daily summary each evening and used the app to notify participants of the next day’s sessions. The entire event required comprehensive planning and communication. Thank you to all the board members and staff of ICN and CNA for your leadership, along with many nurses who served on committees. The on-site volunteers – visible in their red shirts – were a great help to participants throughout the five days.

Dr. Carolyn Pepler & Renata Mares
Credit: Renata Mares

At the closing ceremony, a new ICN logo was launched – now featured on the revamped website. Visit the ICN Website for summaries of the congress and informative items about pre-congress meetings including the Student Assembly and the Council of National Representatives. During the closing ceremony, the Finnish Nurses Association issued a lovely invitation to the next ICN Congress to be held in Helsinki in June 2025. Please see this summary of the closing session: ICN Congress in Montreal closes with inspiring ceremony and the launch of its new visual image and logo | ICN – International Council of Nurses

By Nora Whyte – July 26, 2023

Updated: July 30, 2023

Thanks to Renata Mares for her kindness in sharing her photos of ICN volunteers and for giving me permission to use them in this post.

I acknowledge with respect that I live and work on the Unceded traditional territory of the K’òmoks First Nation.

Universal Health Coverage on the Agenda in 2023

The World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board met recently from January 30 to February 7 in Geneva. A major theme this year is Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in preparation for the UN High-Level Meeting on UHC in September 2023. The previous High-Level Meeting on UHC in 2019 resulted in a commitment “to ensuring that, by 2030, everyone, everywhere will be able to receive quality health services without suffering financial hardship.” Further, UHC “covers the full continuum of essential health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care across the life course.” (WHO 2022).

Courtesy of UHC Coalition

There is an important connection between primary health care and sustaining the workforce to achieve the goal of UHC. I like the way it was expressed by the United Nations Foundation following the Executive Board meetings:

“Member States emphasized that stronger primary health care delivery and a robust health workforce were force multipliers that could jointly serve UHC and pandemic preparedness, response, and resilience goals and the Sustainable Development Goals writ large.” (UN Foundation 2023).

WHO’s Executive Board meeting sets the tone for a big year in global health (unfoundation.org)

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) delivered statements at the Executive Board meetings as part of civil society coalitions urging Member States to commit to investing in the health workforce for UHC. Themes of equity, patient advocacy, emergency preparedness & response and quality of care came through in the statements. A summary of ICN interventions on health care issues during this Executive Board session is worth reading to see the topics covered.

In keeping with the strong global health presence of ICN and its national nursing association members, the next ICN Congress holds promise for discussion of global policy directions. The ICN Congress co-hosted by the Canadian Nurses Association is taking place in Montreal from July 1-5. I have enjoyed participating in past congresses and look forward to attending this one on Canadian soil. The theme – Nurses Together: A Force for Global Health – provides optimism amidst troubling times for the profession and the world. I expect to hear perspectives on current global health challenges and examples of solutions to common issues: nursing retention, Sustainable Development Goals and contributions to achieving UHC. There will be symposia profiling national nursing associations and their activities, plenary sessions, a student assembly, posters and concurrent presentations.

Another feature is the Policy Cafés – highly informative and interactive as I observed in Singapore in 2019. For this congress ICN describes them as: “Located in the exhibition hall, the two Cafés give the opportunity for small group discussion with a panel of experts on a key ICN policy or priority topic. Arranged in an informal setting, the Cafés allow delegates to ask in-depth questions and interact with keynote speakers.” For registration and further details, please visit the ICN Congress Site and follow updates on social media.

By Nora Whyte – February 22, 2023

I acknowledge with respect that I live and work on the Unceded traditional territory of the K’òmoks First Nation.

Resources

UHC 2030 Coalition: Taking Action for Universal Health Coverage.

UHC 2023 Coalition: Universal Health Coverage Message Sheet for 2023.

World Health Organization (2022). Fact Sheet on Universal Health Coverage.

Updates on Nursing Associations 2022

Parksville, BC – June 2022

I’m writing this update at the end of June in advance of our summer break in Canada. World events in the first half of 2022 have left us shaken and concerned about the future as we grapple with climate issues, global conflicts, food security, and population health. As I follow the daily news, I also turn my attention to developments in nursing and look for statements and opportunities for advocacy.

ICN Updates

The 75th World Health Assembly took place in May. It was interesting to follow on social media as it generated considerable attention this year. The International Council of Nurses (ICN) was active in presenting ‘Interventions’ on specific resolutions. See ICN’s summary here.

ICN along with the International Confederation of Midwives and the WHO met for their 9th Triad meeting in May. The representatives issued the 2022 Triad Statement focusing on health care workforce issues and reporting on what countries are doing in response to the Global Strategic Directions for Nursing and Midwifery 2021-2025. Howard Catton, ICN CEO, has been interviewed by many news media this year speaking about the war in Ukraine and related humanitarian crises and on the scale of the nursing shortfall globally.

Annual Meetings

The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) and the Association of Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC (NNPBC) held their annual meetings in June. Both were open to all members and observers in a virtual format. The CNA Meeting of Members was noteworthy because it marked the first time that individual members could vote to elect candidates for the Board of Directors and vote on AGM motions. The previous federation model of territorial and provincial member associations carrying votes has ended. As a member who is following these changes, it will be interesting to see how the new membership structure will work and how the new Board will communicate with members throughout the country.  

After both meetings, I was left somewhat disappointed that there wasn’t more substance presented on what our associations are doing to demonstrate leadership during the current health care staffing crisis and other major issues in 2022 (I receive newsletters and view social media updates but others may not). I do recognize that annual meetings present highlights and financial statements on the previous year and are always six months out of date for the current year’s activities. It makes me wonder if members would be interested in (and commit to attending) an organizational update given in the autumn each year. We could meet the new Board members, hear their priorities for the current year, and ask questions – all through a virtual format, and in a less formal manner than at an annual meeting.

Annual meetings and major events aside, I do appreciate the ongoing work of our professional associations at all levels to bring a nursing perspective to provincial, national, and global health challenges and policy change.

By Nora Whyte – June 27, 2022

I acknowledge with respect that I live on the Unceded traditional territory of the K’òmoks First Nation.

Save the date for July 2023!

Public Health and Climate Change

The COP26 conference opens in Glasgow on October 31, 2021 and is generating considerable interest in the weeks leading up to the event. Officially known as the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, it is the 26th UN Climate Change conference. As explained on the COP26 website, “COP stands for Conference of the Parties – the signatories of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – a treaty agreed in 1994 which has 197 Parties (196 countries and the EU).”

Telegraph Cove, Vancouver Island, BC – August 2021

It is heartening to see the growing public awareness of climate change impacts and the sense of urgency being expressed this year. Leading health organizations have formed coalitions to advocate for climate action. A recent open letter – Healthy Climate Prescription – issued by the Global Climate and Health Alliance (a coalition of organizations representing 45 million health professionals) is a good example of this important collaboration. Describing the climate crisis as “the single biggest health threat facing humanity” the authors of the letter call on world leaders to deliver on climate action. Among the key demands listed are: “a rapid and just transition away from fossil fuels; for high income countries to provide the promised transfer of climate funds; and for pandemic recovery investments to support climate action and reduce social and health inequities.” Likewise, leading international health journals have published a strong editorial that appeared in multiple journals in September with a vital message: “Reflecting the severity of the moment, this editorial appears in health journals across the world. We are united in recognising that only fundamental and equitable changes to societies will reverse our current trajectory.”  

The annual Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change report was released on October 21, 2021. Key findings are presented in five domains: 1) climate change impacts, exposures, and vulnerabilities; 2) adaptation, planning, and resilience for health; 3) mitigation actions and health co-benefits; 4) economics and finance; and 5) public and political engagement. Indicators are provided under each of the domains to give a quick view of changes since the previous report. 

In Canada, the Canadian Association of Nurses for the Environment (CANE-AIIE) has been active since 2009. Their website features articles, presentations, and campaigns. CANE was among the Canadian signatories to the Healthy Climate Prescription letter, along with the Canadian Nurses Association, Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Public Health Association, and other organizations. I found CANE’s definition of planetary health quite helpful in thinking about the health of populations and the natural world:

Planetary health is a recognition of the fact that human health depends on healthy natural environments/ecosystems, and moreover, that we as a civilization find ourselves at a tipping point. We have depended on our natural systems to promote human health to the point where the human population is healthier than ever before, but to achieve this, we have exploited the planet at an unprecedented rate. If we want to continue to safeguard human health, we also need to maintain the health of the planet and its natural systems on which we depend (CANE website, n.d.).

Nurses are being called upon to use our individual and collective influence. Writing in the International Nursing Review, Dr. Pamela Mitchell (2021) offers a thoughtful piece on Nursing’s mandate in climate change. She notes that nurses have written about climate change in the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and now urges collective advocacy to move our focus to climate justice and equity.

Dr. Sally Thorne’s recent editorial in Nursing Inquiry, Awakening to the climate emergency, is a fitting reminder to nurses to pay attention to planetary health. As Editor-in Chief, she anticipates an increase in manuscripts on “a nursing response to the climate crisis” as we take up a shared goal (Thorne, 2021).

I believe that events of recent years are awakening us to the urgency to act as part of our organizations, coalitions, and nations in the quest for climate justice.

Post COP26 Update: The Global Climate and Health Alliance provided an assessment of what was achieved and what work remains. There is positive news in COP26’s Glasgow Climate Pact “that re-commits governments to limiting temperature rise to 1.5C, in line with the most recent science” with concern about the lack of substance in the countries’ commitments. Read more in the media release from Glasgow dated November 13, 2021.

The International Council of Nurses issued a strong statement on the final day of COP26: “ICN is calling for nurses and other healthcare workers to be included at the centre of climate change policymaking, underscoring that climate change is a health issue. As COP26 closes and leaders look ahead to COP27 next year, ICN says it is more important than ever that the voice of health professionals is heard on the climate change debate because if nothing changes nurses and health systems will suffer the consequences.” See full media release (November 12, 2021).

By Nora Whyte – October 24, 2021 (Updated November 22, 2021)

I acknowledge with respect that I live on the Unceded traditional territory of the K’òmoks First Nation.

References:

Mitchell, P.H. (2021). Nursing’s mandate in climate change. International NursingReview, 68, 279– 280. https://doi.org/10.1111/inr.12704

Thorne, S. (2021). Awakening to the climate emergency. Nursing Inquiry, 28: e12459. https://doi.org/10.1111/nin.12459

February Update: ICN and WHO

This week I received the first newsletter for the 2021 International Council of Nurses (ICN) virtual congress taking place in November. This congress promises to be a highly relevant one for these times with the theme of “Nursing Around the World” using a virtual format that will increase access to the event.

Abstracts are due by March 11, 2021 for e-posters and oral concurrent sessions on eight sub-themes.  Sub-themes include Nursing Workforce, Epidemics & Pandemics, Global Health Challenges, and Digital Health & Innovation. The concurrent sessions will be 10-minute pre-recorded video presentations grouped by sub-theme.

Having attended past ICN congresses – in Barcelona, Durban, Singapore, and Vancouver – I can attest to the value of meeting nurses from around the world, listening to their presentations, and learning about policy advocacy to apply to my own work. Along with colleagues, I have submitted abstracts and been part of presentations. And sometimes an encounter at a congress has led to later collaboration and exchanges.

Global Vaccine Equity

Throughout the pandemic ICN has been vocal on the behalf of nurses and health workers globally and is supporting the current WHO campaign on vaccine equity in the first months of 2021, the Year of the Health and Care Worker.

The WHO Declaration calls on “global, national and local leaders to accelerate the equitable rollout of vaccines in every country, starting with health workers and those at highest risk for COVID-19. This includes scaling up vaccine manufacturing and rejecting vaccine nationalism at every turn.”

WHO urges world leaders to increase contributions to the COVAX facility and also calls on Ministries of Health “to work with WHO and others to invest in and prepare their primary health care systems for distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to their health workers.” Further, as is expressed often these days, distribution of vaccines quickly and equitably will be key to ending the pandemic. Individuals and organizations can lend their support by signing the declaration and by getting messages out through social media. #VaccinEquity

By Nora Whyte – February 18, 2021

I acknowledge with respect that I live on the Unceded traditional territory of the K’òmoks First Nation.

Summer 2019 Reflections

The highlight of this summer was the opportunity to be part of a global gathering of 5,300 nurses at the International Council of Nurses Congress in Singapore from June 27 to July 1. Hosted by the Singapore Nurses Association, it was truly a banner event: well-organized in every aspect and with a warm welcome from local volunteers as delegates arrived each day.

Welcome from Singapore Nurses Association at Opening Ceremony.
Photo Credit: ICN

Susan Duncan and I have written a summary of our experiences in a post on the University of Victoria School of Nursing Blog: ICN Singapore Congress – Reflections for Canadian Nursing: Onward to 2020.

We describe recent ICN initiatives including the partnership with Nursing Now and the exciting launch of the Nightingale Challenge. We reflect on the dynamic presence of the World Health Organization throughout the Congress and the increasing recognition of the vital role of nurses in achieving the WHO goal of Universal Health Coverage. The designation by WHO of 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife presents a great opportunity for participation in decision-making bodies and in events including the World Health Assembly next year.

ICN President Annette Kennedy.
Photo credit: ICN

Other highlights included meeting delegates from many countries during receptions, lunches, poster sessions and policy cafés.  We reconnected with colleagues from our national organizations and enjoyed encounters with Canadian students and early career nurses.

Canadian Nurses Association President Claire Betker

For further details on the 2019 Congress and to view presentation slides, photos and speaker profiles, see the archives here.

Onward to 2020!

Trinidad & Tobago Registered Nurses Association.
Photo credit: ICN

Posted by Nora Whyte – August 25, 2019

ICN Congress: Beyond Healthcare to Health

Courtesy of ICN

The International Council of Nurses 2019 Congress is set to begin on June 27 in Singapore. It promises to be a banner event with a strong focus on global health and nursing issues. I am looking forward to attending once again and to stimulating sessions on universal health coverage, primary health care and other policy topics.  

In particular I will be interested in an update on the Nursing Now campaign, launched in 2018 and growing into a social movement to advance nursing and midwifery in many countries. There will be updates on ICN’s recent initiatives and networking opportunities for participants as well as exhibits and poster sessions. Susan Duncan and I are presenting a poster, Launching a Global Inquiry into Nursing Organizations’ Points of Policy Influence: Key Questions. We intend to connect with nurses in other countries to learn about their strategies to influence health and public policy issues and to determine interest in ongoing collaboration. We will write an ICN summary report when we return to Canada.

Posted by Nora Whyte – June 18, 2019


International Council of Nurses 2019: Congress and Policy Advocacy

ICN Congress 2019 Singapore: ‘Beyond Healthcare to Health’

In my October 2018 post, I wrote about plans for the next ICN Congress taking place in Singapore from June 27 to July 1, 2019. The impressive lineup of keynote speakers has been announced this week: presentation topics include primary health care, health economics, nursing workforce, patient perspectives, migration issues and the future of nursing regulation. Also available on the conference website are the preliminary schedule, notice of special events and registration information.

Policy Advocacy

At the start of 2019, ICN continues its global policy advocacy through participation in the World Health Organization’s Executive Board convening in Geneva this month. Policy briefs focus on primary health care as the path to universal health coverage, patient safety and human resources for health. I have appreciated reading the strong statement on universal health coverage calling on “ministries of health, within their national context, to integrate PHC as the foundation of their health systems” (ICN 2019, 5.5:1). The statement on human resources for health highlights the important collaboration of WHO and ICN in the Nursing Now initiative launched in 2018:

“In partnership with ICN and WHO, the launch of Nursing Now has raised the profile of nursing and has highlighted the importance of the need for more well-educated nurses, of investing in recruitment and retention strategies and of removing the barriers to the development of advanced nursing roles that are proving highly effective at expanding healthcare coverage” (ICN 2019, 6.3: 1).

I encourage my Canadian colleagues to follow ICN and Nursing Now as this year promises to be an exciting one for nursing on the global stage.

Update January 31, 2019. During the WHO Executive Board meeting, Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced the intention to declare 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife honouring the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale and celebrating the contribution of nursing and midwifery to global health. Watch for more details as plans unfold.

By Nora Whyte – January 25, 2019