Officially launched on 27 February 2018, Nursing Now, is a programme of the Burdett Trust for Nursing, aiming at improving health by raising the status and profile of nursing globally and maximise the contribution that nursing makes to Universal Health Coverage, women’s empowerment and economic development. This three-year campaign, being run in collaboration with the International Council of Nurses and the World Health Organization, is represented by nurses and non-nurses from 16 different countries and active groups in over 50 countries.
The campaign, based on the UK All Party Parliamentary Group work on Global Health and its Triple Impact report, advocates that the biggest thing we can do to improve health globally is to empower nurses, representing half the health workforce of the world. Thus, its focus points are specifically around advocating for policy changes to make nurses central to achieving universal health coverage, developing primary health care, and tackling non-communicable diseases. The Campaign also calls for investment in the development of nurse-led clinics; primary and community care; prevention, promotion and health literacy; midwifery, child health and adolescent services; and development of more specialist/advanced nurses inside and outside hospitals. Its activities are linked with the global health workforce strategy and the five-year Action Plan of the Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth.
Within this context, the EFN has been appointed as the Nursing Now European regional leader in October 2018, and at the Spring EFN General Assembly in Brussels, April 2018, the EFN Members agreed that the National Nurses Associations should become actively involved in ‘Nursing Now’, next to the EFN as the European lead of the Campaign.
The campaign strategic goal is to position nursing to optimise the potential to fully contribute and make a real difference to the health of the global population, to support nurse leaders within and across countries to translate the vision into reality, and to improve perceptions of nurses, enhance their influence and maximise their contributions to ensuring that everyone everywhere has access to health and healthcare. As such, the EFN will ensure to position nursing more central to health policy and ensure that nurses can use their skills, education and training to their full capacity.
By the end of 2020, Nursing Now Board – in which the EFN President, Elizabeth Adams, serves – will develop a challenging and ambitious agenda with the following goals to be achieved:
- Greater investment in improving education, professional development, standards, regulation and employment conditions for nurses.
- Increased and improved dissemination of effective and innovative practice in nursing.
- Greater influence for nurses and midwives on global and national health policy, as part of broader efforts to ensure health workforces are more involved in decision-making.
- More nurses in leadership positions and more opportunities for development at all levels.
- More evidence for policy and decision makers about: where nursing can have the greatest impact, what is stopping nurses from reaching their full potential and how to address these obstacles.
At European level, the EFN as Nursing Now European regional leadership group, will focus on nurses’ support to the current political policy driver across Europe – European Pillar of Social Rights – building on 20 key principles (with a focus on those principles that EFN Members have committed to), and structured around three categories: equal opportunities and access to the labour market; fair working conditions, social protection and inclusion.
Promoting the right to affordable long-term care services of good quality, in particular home-care and community-based services, has become a key priority for policy-makers and politicians, with the nursing profession co-designing policies guarantying timely access to affordable, preventive and curative health and social care of high quality. The need of patients and citizens to be able to access their health data is high on the political agenda, leading to the design of people-centred health and social care policies. It is time for the National and EU political leaders to enact concrete policies supporting 3 million EU nurses in Europe, and 6 million globally.
Invited to present the Campaign at the EFN General Assembly, October 2018, in Slovakia, Lord Crisp stressed that the Campaign can help open policy doors but only nurses can walk through them. There is a great opportunity to make advances in nursing, but nurses need to be ambitious and go beyond small changes: “start small, think big, go fast!” Furthermore, building on the Campaign the World Health Assembly in 2020 will be centred on Nursing, which represents an important policy opportunity.
As such, it is key the EFN Members join the Campaign by creating local groups; advocating for local priorities plans; engaging with the development of the ‘State of the World’s Nursing’; using international nurses’ day to promote the Campaign; promoting development of young nurses locally; and making 2020 the year of nursing, and the year of change and celebration. Each country is encouraged to have one national lead to drive country specific initiatives. Regional groups are also encouraged to work together under the Nursing Now Campaign umbrella.
Further information is available at: www.nursingnow.com.
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