2020 – Year of the Nurse and Midwife

The World Health Organisation has declared the year 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

The world needs 9 million more nurses and midwives if it is to achieve universal health coverage by 2030. That’s why the World Health Assembly has designated 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife” (WHO, 2019).

This was also in honour of Florence Nightingales 200th birth anniversary. So as we enter this year, I have two initial thoughts about this, 1. It’s really saddening that this is what it has come to; 9 million nurses needed across the world?! Wow. And 2. Excited – excited that this is the year that I get my NMC registration to practice as a fully registered nurse. I’m excited to see what healthcare professionals do across the world for this amazing year. I’m also intrigued to see how the next few years will follow this? Will this just be a one off year? Will we see other events continue? Who knows. But overall I’m excited to see it all unfold and hope that it brings more people into nursing and midwifery.

So how can you get involved with this year? Here’s some tips from the WHO website:

  • Organise awards, recognition and certificates at the work place
  • Set up or take part in public events
  • Display campaign posters
  • Engage local leaders and celebrities
  • Work through and be active on social media use the hashtags – #SupportNursesAndMidwives  #Nurses2020 and #midwives2020
  • Work with artists
  • Work with partnerships
  • Organise your own national walk and talk event

All fantastic ideas! People underestimate the power of social media. I’ve seen nurses come together and create change purely from social media: tweets, Facebook, YouTube and petitions. It was at the end of 2019 (October) that the University and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS) had released a tweet with their link to a description of what nurses do. A LOT of nurses were very offended (in fact it was probably one of the very few times I’ve got offended by a description too) with how behind with the times and simplistic this was written. This tweet was commented on, re-tweeted and a lot of nurses asking UCAS to update this. Through the power of social media, this happened. UCAS revised their nursing section completely and tweeted out an apology. You can read more here about it and you can take a peek at the new UCAS nursing page here.

Social media is personally one of my favourites. It’s such a huge thing at the minute and you can reach so many more people with the use of it. I’ve also seen first hand how the positive use of social media can make an impact on someone’s life. I’ve created vlogs and blogs for two years now and I’ve had messages and met people (complete strangers or online friends) who have watched or read them. They’ve told me that because of my vlogs / blogs they’ve been inspired or motivated in some way. A hand full of people recently told me that I’d inspired them to actually come into nursing! What a huge compliment. But it just shows the power of positive social media use and how we can create change. Even the smallest of changes or steps can make the biggest impact to someone’s life. It’s amazing to see, also a little scary that people trust you so much! Haha. But I’ll be using social media throughout 2020 as well as taking part in whatever events I can to inspire more people into nursing or midwifery.

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, stop and take a moment to think ‘what can I do this year?’ If you already have plans, let me know! I’d love to hear your stories and things you’re doing to celebrate and raise awareness of our amazing profession!

If you’re not a nurse or midwife (yet) then think about it 😉 it’s the most trusted profession in the world and the most rewarding! I’ve just qualified at 36, coming from almost no GSCE’s, no A levels, and now I’m the first in my family to obtain a degree and if my calculations are correct I’ll be qualified with a first degree honours! Trust me, if I can do this, so can you!

I wouldn’t be anywhere else. I love nursing and I think it loves me.

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