ICN joint webinar highlights importance of data to the development of and investment in the global nursing workforce

Online discussion of next year’s State of the World’s Nursing report shows nurses’ eagerness for data to support investment in the profession


Hundreds of nurses from around the world have attended an online discussion about the State of the World’s Nursing report, which is due to be published next April.

The report will include data about individual countries to provide a snapshot of the global state of the nursing workforce. It will be used to influence policymaking decisions on healthcare in years to come.

Interest in the webinar, hosted jointly by the International Council of Nurses (ICN), Nursing Now and the World Health Organization (WHO), was boosted by the approaching September 30 deadline for the submission of data to be included in the report.

ICN Chief Executive Officer Howard Catton, who chaired the webinar, said the report would be a vital resource on the global nursing workforce for nurses and policymaker over the next decade or more.

During the webinar Mr Catton said:

‘We have not had a global WHO State of the World’s Nursing report before, and the commitment of WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to produce this report speaks volumes about his recognition and commitment to the nursing profession.

‘The report will influence global and political discussions about health. It will be a seminal report that can inform the policy and political discussions in countries about how we approach key global challenges, not just next year, but beyond as well.

‘It will be part of the legacy of the 2020 Year of the Nurse and Midwife: we want it to be dynamic, to be used in countries for policy development to strengthen health systems. It will enable all of us to position nursing at the centre of those discussions.’

The webinar was co-facilitated by Baroness Mary Watkins, member of the UK House of Lords and Co-chair of the Nursing Now campaign; Carey McCarthy, WHO Technical Officer who gave a thorough overview of the goals of the report; Semakaleng Phafoli, Jhpiego Senior Technical Advisor, and Kathryn Irwin, Nursing Now Director of Communications.

Baroness Watkins summing up the significance of the report said, “I encourage you to champion the State of the World's Nursing Report in your countries. We need to know what nurses are doing and to demonstrate the value of nursing across the world so your voice counts. Engage with your governments and employers to ensure that the most accurate information is reported in your country so that we have a solid basis on which to influence and shape the future of health care.”

Find out more about the State of the World’s Nursing report:

Presentations made during the webinar – WHO, JHPIEGO