Chief Nurse Blog: Nursing Matters May 2023

30 May 2023

This month my blog highlights ICN’s work for International Nurses Day (IND) on May 12, which included the launch of our year-long campaign, Our Nurses, Our Future, a new report and our Charter for Change.

Every year ICN sets the theme for IND as nurses around the world commemorate the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth in 1820, and celebrate our noble profession’s achievements and goals for the future.

This year’s theme, Our Nurses, Our Future, acknowledges the profession’s solidarity, but also the fact that everyone on the planet is reliant to some extent on nurses for a healthy and successful life.

Our campaign is intended to secure a better future for our nurses, which will in turn secure a healthier and more prosperous future for everyone.

Rebuilding after the pandemic

The pandemic revealed significant failures in properly supporting, protecting and investing in individual nurses and in the nursing workforce globally.

Nobody wants to return to the pre-pandemic status quo because our health systems proved to be so fragile: what we need now is to rebuild better, sustainable health systems.

We know, thanks to the harsh lessons of the pandemic, that health is intimately connected to our prosperity and our wellbeing.

Nurses, as the largest global health profession, are in a position to change people’s lives for the better every single day. But we can only address all the challenges we see, including poor access to health care, increasingly aged and vulnerable populations, noncommunicable diseases and unequal access to health care, without governments investing massively in the global nursing workforce.

The World Health Organization’s latest Global Strategic Directions for Nursing and Midwifery (2021-2025) spells out that investment is needed in nursing education, jobs, leadership and service delivery. Now is the time for governments to make those investments a reality.

Charter for Change

We intend the Charter for Change to make nurses more visible, and for people and politicians to realise that they are an invaluable resource for communities and societies everywhere.

ICN President Dr Pamela Cipriano has said that she wants our Charter for Change to be a living document that nurses can use to influence politicians and policymakers, and convince them to make the right decisions about nurses and for nurses.

Because what is right for nurses leads to better health outcomes and wellbeing for the people and populations that they serve.

I hope you had a happy International Nurses Day and I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible at ICN Congress in Montreal, Canada, in July.