Nurses in New Zealand set to celebrate 2020 International Year of the Nurse

Media release

04 December 2019

Nurses globally and in New Zealand will join together next year to celebrate the International Year of the Nurse and the global Nursing Now campaign

2020 has been chosen by the World Health Organization as the International Year of the Nurse, coinciding with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, one of the founders of modern nursing. 

The Nursing Now movement, which coincides with the 2020 celebrations, is organised by the International Council of Nurses and is a worldwide campaign to raise the status and profile of nursing, through a growing social network of groups aiming to influence global and national policy.

Another part of the celebrations is the Nightingale Challenge, named after Florence Nightingale. The challenge is asking every health employer around the world to provide leadership and development training for a group of their young nurses next year.

The Ministry of Health's Chief Nursing Officer Margareth Broodkoorn says it’s important to use the celebrations as a chance to profile the value of nurses, and promote the profession as a great career opportunity. Global indications are showing a decline in the health workforce of 18 million by 2030, which means over the next 12 years we will need 2,000 more nurses everyday across the world. 

“It’s been a huge couple of years for nursing in New Zealand, with the signing of the Nursing Accord, immediate relief funding for nursing FTE, more resources in this year’s budget for new graduate nurses, rolling out Registered Nurse prescribing to more areas and amending legislation enabling Nurse Practitioners to perform certain functions previously only doctors could.”

“It’s only natural that 2020 is shaping up to be another big year,” says Margareth Broodkoorn.

“By the end of next year, the aim of the International Year of the Nurse and Nursing Now celebrations is to see more nurses in leadership and a greater understanding of the integral part nurses play in New Zealanders’ health care.

“For people who need health care, nurses often play a crucial role in their wellbeing and recovery. We need to continue to support our nurses to deliver the best care they can. We can do this by boosting workforce numbers, promoting leadership development and continuing to promote nursing as the thoroughly fulfilling profession it is.”

The National Nursing Organisations Group, which represents nursing leaders from the major nursing entities in New Zealand, is coordinating the International Year of the Nurse and Nursing Now campaigns and there will be celebrations throughout the year.

"I am proud to be a nurse in New Zealand and to be part of this global movement to celebrate and promote nursing as a wonderful and rewarding career. I hope our health leaders, clinical colleagues, employers, and the community will want to celebrate with us too," says Margareth Broodkoorn.

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