ICN #NursesForPeace – Campaign update - 22 December 2022

22 December 2022

Nurses from around the world continue to express their solidarity and support for nurses in Ukraine and other areas of conflict by donating to the International Council of Nurses (ICN) #NursesForPeace campaign humanitarian fund. Their generous contributions are helping nurses and their families who remain in Ukraine, and those who have been displaced internally and to other countries. ICN is grateful to the nurses and organisations in countries neighbouring Ukraine who continue to support their Ukrainian colleagues and their families.

As the harsh Eastern European winter sets in, the people of Ukraine are now facing an increasingly difficult situation following a new wave of severe attacks on its infrastructure, including its vital supplies of electricity. Power cuts are causing additional hardships for individuals and families, and creating serious problems in healthcare facilities, especially in areas that require hi-tech machinery to keep patients alive.

Tetyana Chernyshnko, President of the Association of Nurses of Ukraine, has again expressed her gratitude for the support ICN’s #nursesforpeace campaign has provided.

Tetyana Chernyshenko

In her latest message President Chernyshnko wrote: “Ukrainian nurses sincerely thank the International Council of Nurses for their help and support. These feelings of support, and unity create inexhaustible strength in our nurses and faith in our victory, they help us to survive in this terrible war. May the New Year 2023 bring peace to all people on our planet. Let the children grow up under a peaceful sky and have living and happy parents, let no one steal their childhood, and may the professions of nurses and doctors be the most peaceful and merciful.”

Pam Cipriano

In response, ICN President Pamela Cipriano said: “I am extremely proud of the Ukrainian nurses who continue to provide care to their patients and communities in what are the most severe and dangerous conditions. Having to cope with power cuts during such harsh weather conditions, on top of all the privations caused by the war, is a burden that must weigh heavily on each and every nurse. ICN’s #nursesforpeace campaign is providing urgently needed support and I am extremely grateful to all the nurses around the world who have contributed to the fund. As always, ICN is urging a cessation of hostilities and for a peace process to be put in place at once, for the sake of the people of Ukraine and the worldwide peace that we all crave.”

ICN’s Humanitarian Fund continues to distribute monies to the Ukrainian Nurses Association so that it can continue its normal functions and direct those funds to the nurses who are most in need. Nurses on the ground are continuing to receive support, thanks to the generous donations the fund has received. ICN has agreed a further specific contribution to help with keeping warm during the harsh winter.

Nadiya Shulgina

Nadiya Shulgina is the head of the Association of Nurses of the Mykolaiv region: “Dear International Council of Nurses. The Association of Frontline Nurses of the Mykolaiv Oblast is glad to have the opportunity to address all of you on the eve of Christmas and the New Year. Please accept our sincere greetings. Thank you for supporting us, for not leaving us in this anxious and difficult moment. No matter how strong we are, support increases our strength. Your attention and help is invaluble to us - let the bright Christmas star unite us all.”

Lyubov Prykhodko is the head of the Association of Nurses of the Sumy Region: “From the first days of the occupation, healthcare workers have been under fire risking their lives to get to their hospitals. For eight months, the medical community has been working in extreme conditions, daily destruction, including of healthcare facilities, without light, without heat, without water. But we are proud that we can help our people with care and love for each patient. At a time when the whole world is preparing for bright holidays - Christmas, New Year - we survive and thank God for each new day. In such a difficult time, we feel your support, help, sympathy and understanding: it is invaluable. ICN’s financial assistance made it possible for seriously ill nurses with cancer to survive. Thank you for your support and help. We wish you peace and tranquility.”

In November, ICN Chief Executive Officer Howard Catton contributed to a conference organised by the Polish Nurses Association in support of nursing in Ukraine. Its focus was the planning of long-term international support for Ukrainian nurse colleagues. Mr Catton met with 25 Ukrainian nursing leaders and heard about their plight. He discussed with them their development needs and the possibility of tailoring one of ICN’s leadership programmes specifically for a cohort of Ukraine’s nurse leaders. Working with senior nurses and the Ukrainian Ministry of Health, ICN hopes to deliver a bespoke leadership programme next year.

Warsaw Meeting

The Warsaw meeting was made possible because of support ICN has provided through its #nursesforpeace campaign. The conference included contributions from key partners, including the Polish Ministry of Health, nurse educators, representatives of the European Union and nursing regulators. Mr Catton addressed the event with an update of ICN’s work and reiterated ICN’s strong commitment to support Ukrainian nurses through the campaign.

In addition to supporting the Warsaw meeting, the ICN Humanitarian Fund is funding the development of a curriculum for bridging courses. The intention is for courses to not only assist Ukrainian Nurse refugees so that they can work as Registered Nurses, but also to strengthen nursing education in Ukraine.

Motanka Doll

While in Warsaw, the Ukrainian nurses presented Mr Catton with a traditional Motanka guardian doll, symbolising prosperity, goodness and hope.

ICN continues to be concerned for the safety of nurses and healthcare facilities in many countries around the world where nurses are at risk. In Myanmar we are in contact with the Myanmar Nurse and Midwife Association, and we are closely monitoring the situation following reports of attacks on healthcare staff and facilities.

Likewise in Afghanistan, ICN is concerned about the safety of nurses and patients. Mr Catton recently spoke to nurses in Afghanistan who were undertaking Basic Life Support training, funded by ICN’s Humanitarian fund. He described how the fund is being used to help nurses in some of the most challenging situations in the world. More similar training programmes are anticipated next year.

Afghanistan nurses BLS Training

Mr Catton said: “We know that, around the world, nurses are under huge pressure. We have a big global nursing shortage, and countries are not investing enough in decent and fair work for nurses, their initial education or their ongoing professional development. Nurses have answers to so many of the problems and the challenges that the world faces: We should have more nurses in leadership positions advising governments and those who are making political decisions. Because nurses know what works on the ground, they know how to deliver the best care to meet people’s needs and because nurses are consistently regarded as the most trusted profession of all.”

Since its launch, the #nursesforpeace social media campaign has reached more than 14.4 million people and had over 686,000 interactions (likes and shares) on social media. Almost 16,000 users have adopted our Facebook frame, and we have received over 3,000 signatures on our statement condemning the invasion, including organisations from representing more than 450,000 nurses worldwide. The campaign visuals are available here for download. To donate to the ICN Humanitarian Fund see here

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