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We are all part of a global profession

Paul Jebb 26 Aug 2020

Exploring the global impact of nursing and the voice of nursing being heard at all levels across the world.

With the global pandemic nursing has shown the world what impact the profession has on people’s lives we now need to ensure we continue to have a greater contribution to global health.

As nurses, as a professional body we have power to:
Influence and impact global health policy and practice. 
over the way we, as a profession are perceived
over the way we are treated as a profession

But the question is, how influential are UK nurses across the global health spectrum?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises ICN whose role is to ensure globally there is: 
Quality across nursing care
Sound health policies
The advancement of nursing knowledge
Leaders at every level of influence
The presence worldwide of a respected nursing profession
Competent and satisfied nursing workforce. 

The ‘State of the Worlds Nursing’ report 2020 highlighted a lack of consistency across the globe in many of these areas. Nurses account for more than half of all the worlds’ health workers, we have power, we have influence and we have a voice, let’s make sure we use it.

ICN has had a formal relationship with the World Health Organisation since 1948, this is pivotal to influencing the wider health care agenda, all of which has an impact on nursing care and on those citizens that are in need of that care anywhere across the globe.

Since 2013 ICN has made progress to address its membership model and has implemented a programme of organisational improvement, and this work continues and ICN has developed even further and has recruited senior leaders who are determined to make ICN a modern organisation that meets its member’s expectations, and ensure there is a return on our financial investment

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown, like never before the value and impact of nursing, as the RCN membership we need to acknowledge and accept that things change, we must review the latest evidence and where indicated not be afraid to alter our position, and ask questions to ensure we get the best for our members, but also ensure we are able to meet our aims in influencing global healthcare at the highest level, and influencing WHO at this crucial time in this global health crisis.

The world has changed, the unstable and rapidly changing political landscape, in health the world has been challenged by many things including the COVID-19 pandemic, recent public health challenges and the ongoing refugee crisis. All of this in a context of global health economy where the shortage of nurses is currently estimated at 5.9 million (WHO 2020), we have lots more work to do.

In the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, in the midst of a global pandemic, the question to ask is can we afford not to join an international alliance aligned to WHO, and fully impact global health care?

Paul Jebb

Paul Jebb

RCN Nurses in Management and Leadership Forum Steering Committee Member

Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS FT

Associate Director of Nursing, Experience and engagement across the Trust, strategically leading on enhancing the experience of care for services users and carers and leading on aspects of prevention and recovery.

Page last updated - 18/05/2022