ICN marks International Nurses Day with the launch of its “Our Nurses. Our Future.” campaign

12 May 2023
PR 13

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) today launched this year’s International Nurses Day (IND) 2023 campaign, “Our Nurses. Our Future.”, which includes its ten-point Charter for Change and related report.

International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world on 12 May, the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. ICN and its member national nursing associations commemorate this important day with celebrations, the launch of our campaign, and the production and distribution of the IND resources and evidence publication.

ICN’s “Our Nurses. Our Future.” campaign, and our Charter for Change, are timely given the World Health Organization’s recent declaration of the end of the Global Health Emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic, even though many remain sick and are dying. After the intense and long-lasting damage that the pandemic created, “Our Nurses. Our Future.” shines a light on a brighter future for nursing, and our Charter for Change sets out what is required to be able to address global health challenges and improve global health for all.

On this day, ICN remembers the many tens of thousands of nurses and other health care workers who lost their lives to COVID-19, and we take this opportunity to remind the world of the many achievements nurses have made, and the many sacrifices nurses are making every day to ensure that people have access to the health care that they need, even in the most inhospitable and sometimes dangerous situations that they find themselves in.

The Charter for Change presents ten policy actions that governments and employers must take if they are to create and sustain health care systems that are safe, affordable, accessible, responsive, and resilient, shifting the focus from nurses being invisible, to invaluable.

Launching the new Charter, ICN President, Dr Pamela Cipriano said:

“ICN believes it is time for policy makers and national and local decision-makers to value, protect, respect and invest in our nurses for a sustainable future for nursing and health care. Our recent reports (see below) have provided the evidence for change and called for action and investments in nursing. It is now time to look to the future and demonstrate what these investments will mean for nursing and healthcare.

‘Nurses are key to healthier communities, responsive societies, thriving economies and powerful nations. These ten policy actions will create the sustainable health systems that are required to optimise the wellbeing and the unique contribution of the nursing workforce. Without such actions, we can see no way for the current nursing workforce, which has emerged from the pandemic in an exhausted and debilitated state, to carry on its essential work in caring for the communities it serves.”

Dr Cipriano said ICN and its national nursing associations members across the world look forward to celebrating nursing on May 12 and working together to chart the future direction of nursing in order to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, Universal Health Coverage, and Health for All.

She will join a celebratory webinar with the newly appointed World Health Organization Chief Nursing Officer, Dr Amelia Latu Afuhaamango Tuipulotu, on Friday, May 12 at 16:45 (4:45PM) Central European Summer Time (GMT+2).

The rationale for the ten policy actions in the Charter for Change are included in the IND report, which provides the evidence why these key actions are essential to nurse the world, and the profession itself, back to health.

The ten policy actions of ICN’s Charter for Change are:

  1. Protect and invest in the nursing profession to rebuild health systems
  2. Urgently address and improve support for nurses’ health and well-being by ensuring safe and healthy working conditions and respecting their rights.
  3. Advance strategies to recruit and retain nurses to address workforce shortages. Improve compensation for nurses to ensure fair and decent pay and benefits, and uphold positive practice environments
  4. Develop, implement and finance national nursing workforce plans with the objective of self-sufficiency in the supply of future nurses.
  5. Invest in high-quality, accredited nursing education programmes to prepare more new nurses and advance career development for existing nurses.
  6. Enable nurses to work to their full scope of nursing practice by strengthening and modernising regulation and investing in advanced nursing practice and nurse-led models of care.
  7. Recognise and value nurses’ skills, knowledge, attributes and expertise.
  8. Actively and meaningfully engage national nursing associations as critical professional partners in all aspects of health and social care policy, delivery and leadership
  9. Protect vulnerable populations, uphold and respect human rights, gender equity and social justice.
  10. Appoint nurse leaders to executive positions of all health care organisations and government policy making.

The full Charter for Change is available here.

The related report is available here.

Other IND resources, including the IND logo and posters, in several languages, are available here.

ICN’s recent reports

Download the press release here