The executive board of the World Health Organization (WHO), has designated 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife”, this is in honor of Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday. Florence was born May 12, 1820, and died August 13, 1910, and was the foundational philosopher of modern nursing, whose story is familiar to every nurse.
The WHO hopes to strengthen Universal Health Coverage and notes that nurses and midwives are essential to this campaign because they play a critical role in health promotion, provide emergency care, and education to the community about disease prevention. A “State of the World’s Nursing report”, which is being led by the WHO and scheduled to be released in 2020 found that “nurses and midwives constitute more than 50% of the health workforce in many countries”. By strengthening nursing, they hope to see improvements in “promoting gender equality, contributing to economic development and supporting other Sustainable Development Goals” (WHO, 2019).
Congratulations nurses and midwives across the world, happy birthday Florence Nightingale and here is to the best year ever! To read more about the Year of the Nurse check out the WHO website here.