Nurses: A Voice to Lead
International Nurses Day is celebrated globally every May 12, a date that doubles as Florence Nightingale’s birthday.
The theme for this year’s resource is Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Invest in Nursing and respect rights to secure global health.
There’s no doubt that maintaining a robust nursing workforce is key to advancing global health and meeting the needs of diverse patient populations. What’s more, nurses occupy the largest segment of the healthcare workforce and play a vital role in providing life-sustaining and life0saving care across settings. The global nursing shortage of the last decade underscored the importance of training and preparing adequate numbers of professional nurses and the dangers of a shortage of nurses to provide care.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has also highlighted a global shortage of nurses. This is coming when nurses and other health professionals are working tirelessly to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a report by the WHO, without action, the world would have a shortage of 4.6 million nurses by 2030. There is a need for heavy investment in nurses and nursing. The cases for this have never been more transparent. In 2018, there was a shortfall of 350,000 nurses in countries within the Western Pacific Region, with low- and middle-income countries suffering the most acute shortages.
Currently, nurses are on the frontlines, battling against COVID-19, working round the clock to save lives and protect their respective communities.
Governments must invest in boosting their nursing workforce as a vital part of preparedness for the health challenges of aging populations, climate change, and a high prevalence of non-communicable diseases.