The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has launched a #NursesforPeace social media campaign to join nurses around the world in solidarity with the nurses of Ukraine.
ICN in partnership with the European Federation of Nurses Associations (EFN) and the European Forum of National Nursing and Midwifery Associations (EFNNMA) issued a powerful statement on March 3, 2022. Speaking on behalf of the global nursing community, they condemn the illegal invasion of Ukraine and call for an immediate ceasefire.
ICN is encouraging nurses around the
globe to participate in the social media campaign and to add our support by
signing the statement.
Thank you to ICN and European partners for your strong leadership at this critical moment and for demonstrating support for the Ukrainian people in this call for humanitarian action. For updates and suggested actions, please visit the ICN website.
Whyte – March 3, 2022
acknowledge with respect that I live on the Unceded traditional territory of
the K’òmoks First Nation.
A highlight of 2021 was the opportunity to participate in the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Congress, held in a virtual format for the first time. The ICN Board and Staff team along with congress partner Emirates Nursing Association did an outstanding job of hosting the three-day event attended by 5,000 nurses and guests from around the globe. Speakers and participants added to the richness of the discussions on key topics relevant to nursing today and conveyed the sense of urgency on workforce issues and equity in global health. Among the important documents discussed was the Global Strategic Directions for Nursing and Midwifery 2021–2025 released in April 2021 by the World Health Organization. Four focal areas for health systems – education, jobs, leadership and service delivery – were important strategic directions covered in congress sessions.
I enjoyed the daily keynote presentations and the continuity provided by ICN leaders who conveyed the enthusiasm and spirit I had experienced at past congresses. However, I did miss the informal social gatherings and memorable encounters with nurses from other countries at congresses in Singapore (2019), Barcelona (2017) and Durban (2009).
Prior to the congress, I was pleased to continue my collaboration with Patrick Chui and Susan Duncan in planning a presentation delivered by Patrick as a pre-recorded oral concurrent session. The presentation drew on previous work and explored policy advocacy leadership by Canadian nursing organizations using a current example of COVID-19 vaccine equity. We discussed ways in which nursing organizations demonstrate policy advocacy leadership in highly complex and evolving contexts. In our conclusion we proposed areas of research that will be useful in generating knowledge to strengthen nursing organizations’ influence on health systems and policy.
Professional Development Highlights
Webinars were the way to go for professional development this year. I enjoyed sessions organized by the Canadian Nurses Association throughout 2021 and the Annual Marion Woodward Lecture hosted by UBC School of Nursing in November. A stimulating session in December was hosted by the International Collaboration for Community Health Nursing Research (ICCHNR): Dr. Barbara Stilwell delivered the annual Lisbeth Hockey Lecture on The Power of the Nursing Narrative. I liked Barbara Stilwell’s call to nurses: “Let’s power together” as she concluded her lecture. Thank you to the organizers and speakers for contributing to my learning and thinking during the past year.
A New Roadmap
Looking to this new year and beyond, the WHO Regional Office for Europe has published Building Better Together: Roadmap to Guide Implementation of the Global Strategic Directions for Nursing and Midwifery in the European Region. As noted in the foreword by Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, “…we will work over the next five years to ensure that nurses and midwives have the capacity to contribute to key areas of public health, primary care, long-term care and post-COVID-19 recovery. We will put this into practice through relevant education, improved working conditions, the promotion of leadership opportunities and clear career pathways.” (WHO, 2021, p. v). Taking into account regional and global policy contexts, it lays out key directions and monitoring mechanisms. It’s an excellent resource that may serve as a guide for other regions to follow.
I end my
year in review comments with a special note of appreciation to all the
colleagues who continue to involve me in fascinating projects and who stay in
touch through regular email exchanges and on social media. Thank you to my
By Nora Whyte – January 4, 2022
I acknowledge with respect that I live on
the Unceded traditional territory of the K’òmoks First Nation.
Each year at this time I write a short piece to reflect on National Nursing Week in Canada and follow what others are posting on social media. This year there isn’t much to say that hasn’t been said already by nursing leaders and through Canadian media coverage of nursing during COVID times. I do want to commend leaders in nursing organizations and to thank colleagues for the tremendous work they have been doing under such difficult circumstances. I think about nurses I have known in India, Nepal, and South Africa and wonder how they’re doing. I hear stories about nurses in all parts of Canada who continue to be key to the COVID response and I learn from colleagues in my circle about their recent experiences with the vaccination rollout in British Columbia.
ICN celebrates International Nurses Day on May 12 each year. This year, it has released an excellent report Nurses: A Voice to Lead – A Vision for Future Healthcare. The report calls for nurses to become the “architects and designers” of health systems, not only the people who deliver care. Among the report’s key recommendations are that governments embrace this new global strategy for nursing and embed its recommendations into their national healthcare strategies.
A graphic that captures the vision for future health care is found on page 7 highlighting the report’s framework and recommendations. It lists six aspects of health care transformation and five ways to support nurses to leverage a better health system. Transformation includes a renewed emphasis on public health nursing, investments in innovation along with greater attention to quality and affordable care. Approaches for supporting nurses focus on safe workplaces, valuing the role of nurses, and better access to education and professional development. This year’s report provided information on a survey of National Nursing Associations on aspects of the COVID response and current issues for evolving the profession. The report is illustrated with country spotlights from the nursing associations and media reports.
Another major report published this month marks the culmination of the global Nursing Now campaign – Agents of Change: the story of the Nursing Now campaign. Although I had followed the campaign since its launch in 2018, I hadn’t been aware of all the impressive accomplishments described in the report. The appraisal of the process and outcomes to date are worth reviewing; it is interesting to know that the reach extended to 729 Nursing Now groups in 126 countries. There’s a strong message to build on the campaign’s momentum as noted on page 14:
“The Nursing Now campaign has generated tremendous energy from nurses and their allies. They have truly come together as agents of change. It is critical at this pivotal moment, as the world turns its attention to rebuilding health systems for the future, that nurses do not lose this momentum.”
Holloway et al. (2021).
A final note for nurses with an interest in global health policy, ICN’s Global Nursing Leadership Institute (GNLI) is worth exploring as a career development step. BC’s Angela Wignall shared her enthusiasm and described her recent experience as a GNLI scholar in a two-part blog for the Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC: Part 1 on the ICN Global Nursing Leadership Institute and Part 2 on Nursing Bodies: Learning from Global Examples. To learn more, please see the GNLI program overview with details about the program and the application process.
By Nora Whyte – May 22, 2021
I acknowledge with respect that I live on the Unceded traditional territory of the K’òmoks First Nation.
Holloway, A., Thomson, A., Stilwell, B., Finch, H., Irwin, K., and Crisp, N.(2021). Agents of Change: the story of the Nursing Now campaign. Nursing Now/Burdett Trust for Nursing. London.
International Council of Nurses. (2021). Nurses: A Voice to Lead – A Vision for Future Healthcare. Geneva.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.