International Year of the Nurse and Nursing Now campaigns

2020 is the International Year of the Nurse!

Nurses working throughout New Zealand make up the largest health workforce in the country. There are more than 56,000 nurses in the health workforce, making a difference everyday to the lives all New Zealanders.

2020 has been endorsed 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. In Aotearoa, New Zealand we will also be acknowledging our nurses who have made a contribution to nursing and health care including our indigenous Maori nurses. We also recognise nursing and midwifery as distinct professions and we will be celebrating each via our respective entities and organisations.

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.

To find out more information about the two global campaigns, visit the following websites:

The aim of 2020

The National Nursing Organisations (NNO) group, which represents all peak nursing bodies in the country, is coordinating the campaign.

Throughout the year, there will be various activities and events to promote nursing in  NZ which aligns with the objectives of the global campaigns.

  • Greater investment in improving education, professional development, standards, regulation and employment conditions for nurses.
  • Increased & improved dissemination of effective & innovative practice in nursing.
  • Greater influence for nurses on global and national health policy, as part of broader efforts to ensure health workforces are more involved in decision-making.
  • More nurses in leadership positions & more opportunities for development at all levels.
  • More evidence for policy and decision makers about: where nursing can have the greatest impact, what is stopping nurses from reaching their full potential and how to address these obstacles.

Nursing staff celebrating at Parliament

What to expect in 2020

This is an important time for nursing in New Zealand and it’s an exciting time too.

Nurses are often the first port of call for people seeking health care in New Zealand, either in primary health care, DHBs or other parts of the broader health care sector. It’s so important to support nurses to deliver the best care they can by boosting their numbers and helping to grow a safe and healthy workforce.

Over the coming weeks and months, as part of our continued celebration of 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and the Nursing Now campaign, you’ll see a number of stories appear here from nursing leaders and advocates in the community, profiles of past and present nursing leaders and information from the Ministry’s Chief Nursing Office highlighting the great career option that is nursing.

Around the country, New Zealanders will be celebrating the International Year of the Nurse in their own way and at events that people may be planning.

In this section

Back to top