5 Reasons Why 2020 is the Year of the Nurse and Midwife

Healthcare team celebrating

The World Health Organization (WHO) has dubbed 2020 “The Year of the Nurse and Midwife.”   

This year marks the 200 year anniversary of Florence Nightingale‘s birth on May 12, 1820. Nightingale, is the founder of modern nursing, was a visionary and leader. This year, nurses and midwives have helped to care for patients and communities around the world. They’ve advocated for patients, started mask campaigns, and shared their stories on social media. 

Here are five more reasons 2020 is the Year of The Nurse and Midwife

On the Frontline

Nurses and midwives have been instrumental in care, as they advocate for the community, sharing their experiences.  As frontline workers, nurses and midwives have advocated for proper care, safer hospital environments; even as COVID-19 increases and their staffing and equipment decreases

Nurses have spoken about the difficulties of their patients and they face battling COVID-19 on the frontline. Still, they continue to care for patients and the community even as their work and staffing are undervalued, the work to improve patient care.

 Improving Patient Care in 2020

Nurses and midwives make up over 59% of the healthcare workforce, with 70% of women making up the workforce. As the profession becomes diverse, patient quality care increases; ultimately, transforming the way nursing is taught and care is delivered.

In 2020, we saw nurses and midwives rallying to address patient safety issues.  Nurses and midwives continue to advocate for patients even as they work in under-resourced and understaffed facilities. To improve patient care, nurses and midwives are working together to develop resources, donate their expertise, and often, their safety gear.

Way to support: You can donate your time or PPE.

Midwives and Social Distance Support

Midwives are utilizing telemedicine to emotionally and virtually support their pregnant patients. From recording with dolls and educating parents on massages to giving Livestream birth preparation classes. Midwives are helping patients navigate their pregnancies and developing alternative methods of care to ensure their patients know they’re there.

Check it out: Looking for stories on midwives’ perspective on midwifery during the pandemic and male midwives’ contribution to the profession.

Developing Leadership

As nurses continue to advocate and make a stand, the WHO is implementing steps to develop future nursing leaders. The Nightingale Challenge aims to help develop the next generation of nurses and midwives and leaders, practitioners who advocate for the health of their patients. The goal is to have around 20, 000 nurses, and midwives under the age of 35 to take part in nursing now initiative focused on developing leadership.

Taking More Action

The initiative Nursing Now campaign is hosting a health equity forum and Campaign Action, nurses are taking more action to advocate better health in their communities. The Nursing Now initiatives are a collaboration between the WHO and the International Council of Nurses. The campaign elevates nurses and midwives by ensuring they have a voice in health policymaking and recruiting nurses into leadership roles. The campaign hopes to shift the public’s view of nursing as both professions continue to advocate for their patients.  Nursing and midwifery programs are taking a step forward to become more inclusive.

Many of these nursing initiatives hope to ensure nursing partners and stakeholders work together to develop action for diversifying the nursing workforce. 

This year has shown us how valuable nurses and midwives are, including how difficult their work is. Nurses and midwives are essential to patient care and community health outcomes. We must continue to celebrate their efforts to care for the community.

How are you celebrating the Year of the Nurse and Midwife? Tell us below in the comment section.

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About the author

Joycelyn Ghansah

Joycelyn Ghansah is a former Healthcare Organizer with a background public health, include reproductive and sexual health. When she's not freelance writing, she's transcribing interviews and researching ways to strengthen healthcare labor laws.

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