More than 600 Nurses attended the International Nurses Day webinar launching a new report on the Economic Power of Care

14 May 2024
WS 13

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) held a webinar to celebrate International Nurses Day and launched its new report on the Economic Power of Care.

ICN President Dr Pamela Cipriano, who chaired the proceedings, highlighted the power of nurses and the importance of advocating for increased investment in the profession. She stressed the importance of ensuring safer working conditions for nurses, adding: “It is not only the care that we provide, and the compassion and impact in our communities as advocates, but the economic changes that we are able to impact”.

ICN Chief Executive Officer Howard Catton presented the IND report, which includes resources and evidence to support nursing growth worldwide. According to the report poor health reduces global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 15%. Mr Catton said: “the evidence in this report overwhelmingly shows that investing in nursing is not a brake on the economy: it is an accelerator for global growth”. He said the report estimates that investment in nursing could boost GDP by up to 8%.

In a panel discussion Dr. Geordan Shannon, co-founder of Unexia and CEO of United Health Futures discussed shaping a healthier, more equitable, and sustainable world. She said that nursing is “often done by women and often underpaid, it’s been systematically devalued or overlooked.”

Gaetan Lafortune, senior economist in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s health division, shared recent data which reinforced that the nursing profession is key to strengthening health systems, and the urgency of attracting additional student nurses.

Amanda McClelland, senior vice president at Prevent Epidemics and Resolve to Save Lives, spoke on the importance of protecting the nursing workforce around the world, stating “The economic case for protecting healthcare workers goes beyond the ethical and moral demand to make sure that nursing staff have a safe place to work and care for high-risk patients, especially in epidemics. So, we’re extremely proud to continue to support ICN in making the economic power case for the power of care“.

ICN Deputy Chief Nursing Officer David Stewart summarized the webinar by sharing just how important nurses are to the global economy, and the world as a whole. He said: “We want people to understand that the work [nurses] do has a direct impact, not only on the quality of our lives, but on the greater financial impact on the entire health system.”

To watch the full IND webinar, click this link.