The Year of the Nurse and Nurse Midwife
Nurses and nurse midwives are an instrumental part of the healthcare practice. In fact, in many places, they’re the only practitioner taking care of the residents of the area. Despite this, there’s a shortage of nurses, which has been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO). If worldwide healthcare coverage is to be achieved, at least 9 million additional nurses are needed.
This is why 2020 was designated as the year of the nurse and the midwife. Although the COVID-19 pandemic might have distracted some from this important matter, it also highlighted how very important nurses are. Without them, numerous patients would have received no aid during this grueling time. In addition, nurses have been an essential part of the workforce directly facing the pandemic. They have put their lives at risk while serving others.
This is a reality throughout many countries, where nurses and nurse midwives represent the largest part of the healthcare system. Nurses are multifaceted professionals, who have a great impact on patients and their outcomes. This year is an opportunity to celebrate them and to truly appreciate their role in the healthcare system.
Nurses spent years studying to become the very best professionals they can be, and they’re always staying updated on the newest healthcare protocols. They are part of a multidisciplinary team and are often the first contact a patient has with a member of the healthcare system. In addition, nurses are an integral part of the vaccination system, which helps kids grow up to be healthy adults.
Furthermore, nurse midwives are tasked with one of the most important tasks one could think of, which is bringing babies into the world. This is rewarding but delicate work that requires fine skills to guarantee the health of the baby and the mother. The dedication, tact, and care provided by a nurse midwife are always remembered by their patients.
Despite this, in some countries, nurses are not regarded with the importance they should. This is another one of the goals of this Year of the Nurse and Nurse Midwife, to bring visibility and awareness regarding the importance of this profession. This will also lead to greater interest in this field, and it will encourage young people to become part of this essential workforce. Educating the public on the important role of nurses will lead to a better healthcare practice as well as greater enrollment to nursing school. This is very important to achieve the aforementioned health coverage goal.
Also, investment in the education of nurses and nurse midwives as well as in nurse-led services will allow nurses to reach their full potential. These services would allow them to better develop their multiple skills and to provide more direct care to patients.
In addition, challenges such as the Nightingale Challenge have been created to promote leadership formation. The goal is to encourage and prepare nurses for leadership positions, allowing them to manage and direct their teams in the most efficient way.
Despite COVID-19 taking most of people’s attention during 2020, these goals have not been forgotten. On the contrary, numerous institutions and organizations have started campaigns to bring more visibility and elevate the status of nurses worldwide. If there’s anything the pandemic has shown us, is that nurses are now more important than ever. Furthermore, as COVID-19 vaccines start to emerge, they will be the professionals administering the vaccine all over the world. This also brings more visibility to the instrumental role of nurses.
The invitation is to celebrate nurses every day of every year, not only during 2020. Their work is a demanding one that provides aid to those who need it most and getting more nurses involved is the only way to ensure quality healthcare around the world.