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2020: International Year of the Nurse and Midwife
Press release 31.12.19


2020 marks the start of the World Health Organisation (WHO) International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. The year aims to unite nations of the world in celebration of the benefits that nursing and midwifery bring to the health of the global population.

A WHO declaration calls for 2020 to be used to celebrate “the vital role and contributions of nurses and midwives in achieving universal health coverage”. 

The year will also mark the nurses and midwives’ increasing lead in bringing healthcare to entire populations, particularly those most marginalised and in need, along with the designing and delivery of solutions to meet the needs of changing and ageing populations.

2020 was chosen to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, one of the founders of modern nursing.

Throughout the year, the INMO along with partners in Ireland and all around the world will celebrate and recognise nursing and midwifery, and 2020 will also see the publication of the first State of the Worlds Nursing Report by the WHO.

INMO President and Sligo-based nurse, Martina Harkin-Kelly, said:

“Our professions have touched the minds, hearts and health of the nation, have changed lives, and have comforted so many. This is a year which celebrates that vital contribution and which recognises that without nursing and midwifery at the heart of health services the needs of the population will not be met.

“This is our year. It’s a chance to not only reflect on how far our professions have come, but to push for them to develop.

“More staff to allow specialisations, more nurse and midwife-led services, and putting our professions firmly at the heart of healthcare are key tasks for the year ahead. That takes government recognition – ensuring we have a truly universal healthcare system.

“Nurses and midwives are already leaders in their workplaces and communities. We are fierce advocates for those in our care. This year is all about recognising that and building on it.”

International Council of Nurses President, Annette Kennedy, said:

“Nurses and midwives are at the heart of our healthcare systems and 2020 is our moment to shine. 
“More importantly, it’s time to change the perception of nurses and midwives as purely caregivers. We are also leaders, ready to take on the challenge of making healthcare for all a reality. To make this happen we need a seat at the decision-making table and that will be one of our key demands during the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.”

European Federation of Nurses Associations President, Elizabeth Adams, said:

“Nursing and Midwifery embodies the best of human endeavours, positively contributing to the health and well-being of so many lives. Without question, the practice of nursing and midwifery adds substantial value by enhancing the socio-economic welfare of the wider global population. 

“The WHO have affirmed this by dedicating 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, thereby recognising the professional, scientific and educational evolution of both professions over centuries and their enormous capacity to lead, innovative and drive future system-wide transformation to improve the delivery of health care for all”.



More information can be found here on ICN Website


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