International Council of Nurses

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144th session of the Executive Board<br>24 January - 1 February 2019
Agenda Item: 
6.3 Human resources for health

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) thanks WHO for the report that highlights the centrality of the health workforce to delivering WHO’s “triple billion” goals. Making up approximately half of the health workforce, nurses are intrinsically linked to the ability of countries to address health priorities and achieve the SDGs – daily, nurses promote health, improve access to healthcare and advocate for people and communities.

In 2020, there is a unique opportunity to honour the nursing contribution to the health of our world by celebrating the bicentenary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. This celebration offers a platform to recognise past and present nurse leaders globally, raise the visibility of the nursing profession in policy dialogue and invest in the development and increased capacity of the nursing workforce. Nurses, as both leaders and implementers, will turn the ambition of achieving health for all people into a reality.

In partnership with ICN and WHO, the launch of Nursing Now has raised the profile of nursing and has highlighted the importance of the need for more well-educated nurses, of investing in recruitment and retention strategies and of removing the barriers to the development of advanced nursing roles that are proving highly effective at expanding healthcare coverage.

ICN is also pleased to be collaborating with WHO to develop the first-ever State of the World’s Nursing report. This seminal report will provide a global picture of the nursing workforce and inform national policy on strengthening nursing in order to make meaningful progress toward universal health coverage and the SDGs. We urge Ministries of Health to proactively support the development of the report and nursing leaders to be actively engaged.

Through its appointment of a Chief Nursing Officer, WHO has set a clear lead for investing in and supporting nursing leadership that we encourage all countries to follow.