As the year draws to a close, it is my pleasure to send you greetings and sincere thanks on behalf of the Board and staff of the International Council of Nurses.
ICN and our more than 130 national nursing association members around the world are working hard to support the over 28 million nurses worldwide by ensuring quality nursing care for all, sound health policies globally, the advancement of nursing knowledge and the worldwide presence of a respected nursing profession and a competent and satisfied nursing workforce.
At this special time of year, we are also mindful of the sacrifices and tragic deaths of nurses and health care workers in conflict areas. We are deeply concerned about the ongoing and escalating humanitarian crises that are claiming innocent lives. Through our #NursesforPeace campaign, we have continued to support nurses working in conflict zones and disaster areas. We have been steadfast in our calls for peace and protection of all health facilities and personnel.
This year also has seen many highlights and successes. We held an incredible Congress in Montreal welcoming thousands of nurses from all over the world, along with experts in nursing and health care, governmental representatives, and others. We were able to share experiences, learn from others and raise the image of nurses!
We have continued our close collaboration with the World Health Organization, not only bringing the nursing voice to the WHO Executive Board and World Health Assembly, but also to many WHO committees, panels, workshops and publications.
We have been active participants at the United Nations high level meetings on Universal Health Coverage and Pandemic Preparedness and Response. And took part in several other high level meetings on these topics, urging governments to invest in the nursing workforce for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and UHC.
The climate crisis, gender equality, mental health and patient safety were also important topics this year and we made great strides in ensuring nursing’s voice is driving action in all these subjects.
This year’s International Nurses Day theme, Our Nurses. Our Future. sent the message that we must value, protect, respect, and invest in nurses now and for the future. To carry out this mandate, we launched our Charter for Change that presents 10 policy actions that governments and employers must take to create and sustain health care systems that are safe, affordable, accessible, and responsive, and shift nurses from being invisible to invaluable. We will carry this theme into next year’s campaign as we continue to implement the Charter.
Other highlights of the year included the release of our educational modules on Patient Safety and the WHO’s Global Strategic Directions for Nursing and Midwifery. These free learning modules provide high quality Continuing Professional Development opportunities available to all nurses.
We have intensified our impact to improve nurses’ leadership skills through spread of our Leadership for Change and Global Nursing Leadership Institute programmes. And the ODENNA project is helping to strengthen nursing associations in Africa.
Finally, I would like to highlight the ICN/FNIF Girl Child Education Fund which supports the education of the orphaned daughters of nurses in four African countries.
I am taking this opportunity to ask for your kind support of this important project which currently supports 80 girls. We need your help to continue to help these girls and ensure they get the education they need for a better future, not just for them, but for their families and communities. Please click on the donate button on our website!
Also as you consider your year-end giving, you may wish to contribute to ICN’s Humanitarian Fund (#NursesforPeace) so we can provide more assistance to those recovering from all types of emergency and disaster situations. Thank you.
My dear nurses, members, partners and supporters, thank you for all that you do to improve health for everyone, everywhere. We value your commitment and support. Let’s continue to make an even greater impact in together in 2024!