International Nurses Day! Nurses: A Voice to Lead Health for All
International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. This year, the theme for International Nurses Day is ”Nurses: A Voice to Lead, Health for All”
IND 2019 provides three important messages for nurse and policy makers:
- Nurses save lives and improve, protect and promote health and well-being.
- Nurses are a vital access point to 24/7, birth to death, emergency and ongoing care.
- Nurses are the foundation to high quality, affordable, accessible care.
“Nurses and midwives are the backbone of every health system. They account for more than half of the global health workforce and are vital for realizing the vision of universal health coverage,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “But to achieve UHC and the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, the world will need 9 million more nurses and midwives. WHO is proud to support ICN and the Nursing Now campaign to ensure we fill this critical gap.”
Nursing and midwifery
- Nurses and midwives account for nearly 50% of the global health workforce.
- There is a global shortage of health workers, in particular nurses and midwives, who represent more than 50% of the current shortage in health workers.
- The largest needs-based shortages of nurses and midwives are in South East Asia and Africa.
- For all countries to reach Sustainable Development Goal 3 on health and well-being, WHO estimates that the world will need an additional 9 million nurses and midwives by the year 2030.
- Nurses play a critical role in health promotion, disease prevention and delivering primary and community care. They provide care in emergency settings and will be key to the achievement of universal health coverage.
- Investing in nurses and midwives is good value for money. The report of the UN High Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth concluded that investments in education and job creation in the health and social sectors result in a triple return of improved health outcomes, global health security, and inclusive economic growth.
- Globally, 70% of the health and social workforce are women compared to 41% in all employment sectors. Nursing and midwifery occupations represent a significant share of the female workforce.