Happy New Year & hello 2020! January marks my 1.5 years as a practicing RN & I thought it would be fitting to discuss the Year of the Nurse for my first post of the decade ;).
The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated 2020 the years of the nurse. Their website notes they have done so to bring attention to the global nursing shortage & celebrate this group of healthcare workers. So what brought this celebratory year on? By the end of this decade, WHO estimates the 9 million nurses & midwives will be needed in order to achieve universal healthcare. Additionally, there is a global shortage of healthcare workers & of the 18 million health workers needed to deliver and sustain universal health coverage by this time, over 50% are nurses & midwives. WHO also notes that nurses & midwives are often overworked, under-resourced & undervalued.
There is tons of evidence & data that link patient outcomes to nurse well-being. Nurses being overworked is a harsh reality. Around the globe nurses are asked to produce the best patient outcomes without adequate resources and staffing, lending to job dissatisfaction & burnout. Additionally, although this is the largest group of healthcare workers, they are not adequately represented on hospital administration teams.
All of these things need to change. As the largest group of healthcare workers, is imperative to ensure that the nurses & midwives receive the proper tools, staffing & funding to protect the global community that we serve. It is no longer enough to provide lip service in the form of “thank you’s”. Action needs to be taken, nurses & midwives need to feel & actually be valued, not simply be told that they are. Doing the right thing by nurses & midwives is doing the right thing for the community.