International Council of Nurses discusses future plans with Nursing Now groups from around the world

9 February 2021

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The International Council of Nurses (ICN) hosted a webinar on 9 February with over 50 participants from the Nursing Now campaign groups around the world. A second webinar will be held on 18 February (see below for details).

Launched in 2018, Nursing Now – a global campaign to raise the status and profile of nursing - will come to an end in May this year. The webinar aimed to introduce ICN to the groups and discuss how they can work together in the future.

The webinar – which was chaired by Susan Williams, ICN Consultant, responsible for the transition of the groups and the legacy of Nursing Now to ICN – aimed to build on the momentum and hard work that the groups have been engaged with as part of the Nursing Now campaign. Howard Catton, ICN Chief Executive Officer, welcomed the groups and introduced ICN’s work and its key activities for the year. He praised the work of the campaign saying, “Without a doubt, it has been the most successful global nursing campaign that there ever has been.

‘The activity around the Year of the Nurse, the work together on things like the State of the World’s Nursing report and, in very real terms, the groups who have established around the world are the hard and fast results of the great success that the Nursing Now campaign has been.”

Mr Catton described the work that ICN has done recently focusing on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the global work led by Helen Clark on learning the lessons from the pandemic. ICN is also working extremely closely with the WHO on developing the next Strategic Directions for Nursing and Midwifery and has produced a number of reports over the last few months in relation to the extent of the nursing shortage, and what needs to be done to educate and to invest in the nursing workforce.

Barbara Stilwell, Nursing Now Executive Director, said “What Nursing Now has done is connected people. We have relied on connections. We have relied on having great partners like ICN and WHO and we are thrilled that ICN will carry on with this great work with the groups to support and continue these connections. It is all about the future! ICN has been fabulous partners, we know you are in safe hands.”

She reminded participants of some of the ongoing work including the Season of Advocacy which is called Nurses Together. “That is where ICN and Nursing Now align – we are all about investment in nursing, decent work and salaries, and all the things that nurses need.”

Julia Jankovicova, from the Slovak Chamber of Nurses and Midwives; Htay Htay Hlaing, from the Ministry of Health in Myanmar and Catherine Odeke, from the Ministry of Health in Uganda were invited to speak on the activities of the Nursing Now group in their country and the ways in which they hope to work with ICN in the future.

Julia Jankovicova spoke about the achievements of Nursing Now Slovakia and said: “It could be helpful, if ICN, in collaboration with WHO, called on official countries to take concrete steps to address shortages in nursing and midwifery.”

Htay Htay Hlaing spoke on Nursing Now Myanmar’s five objectives which include: investment in education, professional development and regulation; initiating nurse-led clinics for prevention of CDs and NCDs; promoting enabling workplace environments; promoting leadership skills and adopting exercise as a medicine for the population.

Catherine Odeke asked ICN to work with nurses in Uganda to help strengthen their leadership capacity and sharpen nursing and midwifery skills in specialist areas.

The Taiwan Nurses Association (TWNA) President Dr Ching Min Chen spoke about the activities of Nursing Now Taiwan particularly concerning the image of nursing and upgrading of education. “The Nursing Now Taiwan campaign has encouraged the government to invest more in nursing and we aim for higher positions for our senior nurses,” she reported.

Ayush Belwal, a nursing student from India, highlighted the role of nursing and welcomed ICN’s invitation to nursing students and expressed his hope that Nursing Now groups would include student participation from around the world.

In response to a question from Aneesha Archyangelio, from Nursing Now England, on how participants can support the work of ICN in delivering CPD and training and development programmes, Howard Catton said, “There is an important focus on education in the new draft WHO Global Strategic Directions for Nursing and Midwifery and it is essential that this is not just about pre-registration but also post-registration education and that we also highlight the importance of continuing competence and patient safety.”

Watch the recording here.

The second ICN Webinar on this subject will be held on 18 February from 15:00 – 16:00 (CET) and will have Spanish/English interpretation.

To attend please register using the link below: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_O5WywFJ1TJuKQsvxNDNuCg