ICN President Annette Kennedy: optimistic about the future despite the immense challenges ahead

2020 Year of the Nurse
23 December 2020

In her end of year message, International Council of Nurses President Annette Kennedy said that she had never been so honoured to be a member of the nursing family and president of ICN.

Ms. Kennedy described 2020 as the year that changed the world, the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife that we could not have expected or planned for. COVID-19 had changed the way we live, socialise, work, interact with each other and deliver healthcare, she added.

She said that the pandemic had raised the visibility of nurses like never before and underlined they are indispensable to healthcare.

“It showed that we are the backbone of the health system, that nothing can happen without nurses and how great we are at meeting the demands of patients suffering from COVID-19.

‘Nurses demonstrated great leadership skills, they showed compassion, great care and resilience. They saved many lives but tragically many of our colleagues died performing their duty.

‘We owe it to those nurses who died, and to society at large, to build on the visibility we have achieved this year during the pandemic. We have to be part and parcel of every policy-making decision, we have to be central to the strategy and the task-forces. We have to advise the decision makers to have a better future, a better society and a better world of healthcare.”

Ms Kennedy added that the immense commitment and courage that nurses had demonstrated during 2020 made her optimistic for the year to come and urged nurses to seize the opportunity to make their voices heard, despite the serious challenges ahead.

“I know we will still have challenges but we can surmount those challenges, we can work together to build a better future for our nurses and patients. I have seen the courage of our young nurses and I am impressed, nursing is in safe hands. We cannot wait for the opportunities; we have to create and make the opportunities. We cannot wait to dream, we cannot wait to wish, we have to do it and we can. Each one of us can make a difference but together 27 million nurses can change the world and in 2021 we can start to see that change, the future is in our hands.”

Ms. Kennedy, on behalf of the ICN Board and staff, concluded by wishing all nurses well for the holiday season and urged them to look after their physical and mental health in the year to come.