International Council of Nurses holds second webinar to discuss future plans with Nursing Now groups from around the world. 18 February 2021

19 February 2021


The International Council of Nurses (ICN) hosted a webinar on 18 February with nearly 170 participants from Nursing Now campaign groups around the world.

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, the second of its type, aimed to introduce ICN to the groups and discuss how they can work together in the future.

The webinar, like the first one held on 9 February 2021, was chaired by Susan Williams, the ICN consultant who is responsible for the transition of the groups and the legacy of Nursing Now to ICN. It aimed to build on the momentum and hard work that the groups have been engaged in as part of the Nursing Now campaign.

Susan Williams - ICN Consultant

Ms Williams welcomed attendants and expressed her gratitude about the number of people who opted to participate and speak in the webinars. She said she was hoping to hear from nurses about their aspirations for the future, what they have planned for this year and how ICN can continue to collaborate with them to enhance health systems around the world.

Howard Catton, International Council of Nurses (ICN) Chief Executive Officer

Mr Catton welcomed participants and said how proud ICN is to be able to continue Nursing Now’s work. Mr Catton said:

“I suspect Nursing Now will be the best global campaign nursing has ever seen. As it ends ICN is delighted that many of the groups will be transitioning to us. The responsibility is taken very seriously to take forward Nursing Now’s legacy.”

Mr Catton gave a brief overview of ICN’s history and its role in supporting nurses globally and representing their voice in the most influential policy making forums, including at the World Health Organization and it’s governing body, the World Health Assembly. He said ICN’s global reach meant it has a unique overview of what is happening in the world of nursing, including during the current pandemic. He asked nurses to contribute through their Nursing Now groups, and invited them to join ICN’s virtual Congress, which will take place on 2-4 November this year.

He said 2021 is a significant year that will be full of opportunities and transitions:

“We will make decisions over the next months and year that will set the course for a number of years to come. Listening to you today, hearing what the priorities and key issues are for your Nursing Now groups is hugely important for ICN to understand and align and work together to take nursing forward.”

Barbara Stilwell Global Campaign, Executive Director Nursing Now

Dr Stilwell spoke of her pride in watching the development of Nursing Now groups over the past three years and her confidence that the work they have done will continue within ICN. She said:

“The partnership between ICN, WHO and Nursing Now has been a force that has kept nursing high on the agenda of policy makers and politicians during this extraordinary time. And that’s what we need to continue to do as we move into the future. We want to move into a world where we are all advocating for good strategic investments in nursing - more nurses, better rewards, the equipment we need and involvement in policy making. We are thrilled and we know this is the beginning of a really exciting future together.”

Walter de Caro, President, Italian Nurses Association

Dr de Caro spoke of how Nursing Now launched in Italy in 2019 and has spread to many hospitals and universities. He said the network had raised awareness of nursing throughout Italy and contributed vital data in the monitoring of the pandemic. There are plans to develop courses to strengthen leadership among Italy’s nurses and to continue campaigning, including through a special conference of nursing associations from the influential G20 group of countries.

Claudia Leija Hernandez, Director of Nursing, Department of Health, Mexico: Nursing Now Mexico

Ms Hernandez spoke about activities of Nursing Now groups in Mexico, including a national campaign to raise the profile of the profession and strengthen its leadership that has reached more than 8,500 nurses. Their work as resulted in two universities now teaching advanced practice nurse for specific patient groups with long-term conditions. Although the pandemic interrupted some of their plans, they are getting back on track and will continue.

Javier Isidro Rodriguez López, General Director of U-Nursing- LatAm for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Nursing Now Latin America region

Mr Rodriguez Lopez said that since 2019 Nursing Now Latin America groups had enabled 400,000 nurses to undergo research and training. The groups had run hundreds of training activities, including seminars, to strengthen the human capital in nursing and there are now 25,000 active nurse members, 150 partnerships between ministries of health, schools, colleges and universities in 26 Latin American countries. In addition, there have been useful links with nurses in Europe and Australia with a view to cooperating on training initiatives and partnerships at the institutional level.

Dr. Shirly Luz, Director of Post-Basic Education, Nursing Management Division Ministry of Health: Nursing Now Israel plans for 2021 and working with ICN

Dr. Luz said that in Israel Nursing Now is led by the minister of health and its aim is not just to raise the profile and improve the innate of nursing, but to increase the number of nursing students to tackle the country’s nursing shortage. There will be investment in the workforce and in post-basic training to meet the shortage of intensive care nursing staff caring for patients who have COVID-19. Israel is also planning to increase the size of its nurse practitioner workforce and resume its Nightingale Challenge leadership training for its early career nurses. Dr. Luz said Nursing Now Israel is keen to share its out webinars throughout the world and asked ICN to invite all Nursing Now groups to join them.

Yesenia Musayón – Escuela Profesional de Enfermería, Facultad de Enfermería - Director of the Professional School of Nursing and Coordinator of Research Group CuidART-e, Instituto de Medicina Tropical Alexander von Humboldt

Ms Musayón said Nursing Now in Peru is working with other healthcare disciplines to develop sustainable improvements in healthcare in the community. She said they are keen to develop projects with national or international financial support in collaboration with other organisations. Areas of focus include substance misuse, HIV, family-oriented healthcare and the training of nurses in the use of technology, mental health and healthcare management. She said Nursing Now Peru is keen to exchange knowledge with nurses elsewhere in the world and is increasingly using a digital platforms and social media to promote communication in healthcare.

Blerina Duka – President of Albanian Order of Nurses (Albanian Nursing Now group)

Ms Duka said 2020 had been a very difficult year because of the pandemic but it had showed the importance of the role of nurses as a bridge between healthcare systems and the community. Nursing Now Albania promoted cross-professional practice, training and cooperation, including seminars on digital health, health promotion, the role of nurses in the community, advanced practice and leadership.

Nai-Ying (Monica) Ko – President of Asian and Pacific Alliance for Nursing Education, Dean and Distinguished Professor - Nursing Department, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University

Professor Ko said the Nursing Now campaign had been shared with the Taiwan government and had been successful in delivering leadership training for its early career nurses through the Nightingale Challenge, even during the pandemic. The pandemic encouraged the use of new media in this training, including social media, such as YouTube and Twitter to share their activities. She said Nursing Now Taiwan is committed to sharing its experiences with nurses and educational institutions in other countries other across the Asia Pacific region.

Jose Luis Cobos Serrano – Consejo General de Enfermeria de Espana et Nursing Now Spain

Mr Serrano said it is important to continue the work of Nursing Now groups because of the positive impact they have already had. He said the pandemic had a big impact and had slowed down a lot of activities but there were still many positives. He said Nursing Now Spain was speaking with one voice with regional governments and ministries about involving nurses more in policy making decisions. It had also run leadership programmes, which can be shared with Latin American countries.

Leticia Bernués Caudillo – Nursing Now Madrid

Ms Bernués Caudillo said the pandemic had interfered with Nursing Now Madrid’s plans, but it had managed to carry out a survey of more than 2,000 nurses to show how the crisis was affecting nurses. The group continues to work with politicians on improving the state of nursing in Spain and she asked for ICN’s help in this and in collecting, analysing, and sharing data. She said nurses in Madrid are very keen to keep in contact with nurses in other countries because working together internationally strengthens the profession.

Aimée Horcasitas – President of the Asociación Mexicana de Estudiantes de Enfermería, AMEENF

Ms Hocasitas said the Nursing Now campaign had been launched in 28 entities, including schools, nursing colleges, clinics and hospitals. She said they are working with other nursing student organisations throughout Latin America. She said the group had influenced a commission to include advanced nurse training - promote evidence-based practice - for all nursing students, which benefited more than 25,000 nurses, students and trainees to increase the quality of the profession. She said the group worked in different partnerships to increase representation the visibility of the profession and foster leadership skills. She said there were plans to work with colleagues internationally to develop a mentoring programme for students to strengthen leadership and amplify the voice of students, including at ICN’s virtual Congress later this year.

Mtra. Perla Idolina Barragan Sosa – Presidente Del Colegio Nacional De Enfermeras, Mexico

Ms Barragan Sosa said Mexico Nursing Now is working to influence people’s lifestyles and promote healthy ways of living, adhering to the objectives of development and working on helping pregnant women. It is also working with students and also plan to make agreements with nursing colleges and nursing schools internationally to develop the nursing profession in Mexico.

Ms Williams thanked all the contributors and ICN staff, and Mr Catton made some closing remarks:

He thanked contributors for their informative and important comments and said he looked forward to working with Nursing Now groups during what is expected to be an especially important year for nursing and beyond. He said the ICN would be discussing the content of the webinar and that it would be taken into account in ICN’s plans for the future. And he said many of the themes discussed, including nurses’ working conditions, advanced nursing practice, leadership, early career nurses and the future of the profession would all likely feature at IC’s virtual Congress in November.

Watch the recording of the webinar by clicking on the links below: