Though well into her final trimester, Kate Middleton hasn’t let the impending birth of her third child stop her from attending royal engagements. At the very end of February 2018, the Duchess of Cambridge visited the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and St. Thomas’s Hospital in London. While there, Kate Middleton ran into the midwife who helped deliver her daughter Princess Charlotte, Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, and the two shared a warm embrace.
But Middleton didn’t make the visit just to be reunited with her former midwife: She was there to become the second patron of the Royal College and to officially announce the Nursing Now 2020 campaign, which aims to raise the profile and status of nursing worldwide. As the name suggests, the three-year campaign is scheduled to last until 2020, the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.
“This campaign means a lot to me personally. My great-grandmother and grandmother were both volunteer nurses,” Middleton said in a speech she gave the campaign launch. “They would have learned first-hand from working with the Voluntary Aid Detachment and the Red Cross about the care and compassion that sometimes only nurses can provide.”
Find out everything you need to know about the Nursing Now 2020 campaign below.
Critical Roles Played by Nurses
Nurses are the heart of most health care teams, caring for patients from their first breaths to their last, helping with everything from checking blood pressure to offering diagnoses to administering shots and painkillers. “Nurses are always there. You care for us from the earliest years. You look after us in our happiest and saddest times. And for many, you look after us and our families at the end of our lives,” Middleton said. “Your dedication and professionalism are awe-inspiring.”
As the Duchess of Cambridge went on to point out in her speech, sometimes nurses may be the only health care provider readily accessible in certain areas of the world, which is why it’s extremely important that enough nurses be trained and placed in the coming years. “In some parts of the world, nurses are perhaps the only qualified health care professionals in their communities, so your work is all the more vital,” she said.
Coming Shortage of Nurses
According to Middleton’s speech, 9 million more nurses will need to be trained by 2030 to meet the rising demands worldwide, which works out to about 2,000 more nurses each day for the next 12 years. Nursing Now 2020 hopes to start filling that gap by increasing the profile of nursing roles and raising awareness about becoming a nurse. Indeed, the nursing shortage has been deemed a global crisis since 2002, but the recruiting and retention of nurses hasn’t been able to keep up with the health care demands of a growing population.
Five Campaign Goals
To help increase the number of nurses, and to support nurses already working in the field, the Nursing Now website lists five main goals that the initiative hopes to achieve by 2020. They are:
Greater investment in improving education, professional development, standards, regulation and employment conditions for nurses.
Increased and improved dissemination of effective and innovative practice in nursing.
Greater influence for nurses and midwives 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 and 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.
Basis for the Initiative
The goals and methods of the Nursing Now movement are based on a Triple Impact report, which was released by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health in October 2016. The report found that empowering nurses would not just improve health globally, but also build strong economies and promote gender equality (as the vast majority of nurses are still women). These three results combine to form the triple impact that nurses could potentially have. “The nursing contribution is unique because of its scale and the range of roles nurses play,” the report said.
Organizations Behind the Movement
Kate Middleton may be the most recognizable public face of the Nursing Now campaign, but two major health organizations are behind the campaigns: the International Council of Nurses and the World Health Organization. The International Council of Nurses represents millions of nurses worldwide, and seeks to represent them, advance the profession, and influence health policy. The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that seeks to address international health policy. The campaign is also supported by the Burdett Trust for Nursing, an independent charitable trust that helps fund nurse-led projects.
A Global Campaign
The Nursing Now Campaign Board includes both nurses and non-nurses from 16 different countries to represent a truly international group. Official launch events were held in London (where Middleton spoke) as well as Geneva. Various international nursing associations also hosted their own launch events, with locations including Canada, China, Jordan, South Africa, Taiwan, and Macao.
Ways to Get Involved
Beyond advocating for nurses and nursing, individuals who wish to support the campaign can sign the Nursing Now pledge and share the social media kit on various platforms. If there is no existing Nursing Now group in their area, nurses and non-nurses may band together to form their own group, though the process is lengthy to ensure participants are committed.
Whether you live in a developing country or an advanced health care economy, the coming nursing shortage will affect the entire globe, and is being felt in some places already. Through its five goals, Nursing Now hopes to help meet that need by recruiting new nurses and empowering existing ones through greater leadership opportunities and better policy decisions. To learn more about Nursing Now 2020, visit the campaign website.
National Association of Indian Nurses of America (NAINA) joined the Nursing Now global campaign in July 2019, and NAINA marked the official inauguration of its campaign activities at the 2019 Clinical Excellence conference held on November 2nd in New Jersey. As part of Nursing Now, NAINA is collaborating with the American Nurses Association as well as other local nursing organizations and global campaign supporters.
On February 27, 2018, Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, patron for the Nursing Now campaign, officially inaugurated the campaign that runs through December 2020. The campaign was launched in response to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Triple Impact report. The Triple Impact report accentuated that “developing nursing will improve health, promote gender equality and support economic growth.”
A Well-Timed Campaign
The year 2020 will be a historic year for nursing profession as it marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.The nursing world is preparing to honor and celebrate this great nurse. As the global community prepares to celebrate nursing, momentous endeavors are in the planning. WHO has designated 2020 as The Year of the Nurse and Midwife. The WHO State of the World’s Nursing Report that highlights nurses’ role in Universal Health Coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals is anticipated in April 2020. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation team is releasing another landmark report in 2020 as a follow up of the 2010 Institute of Medicine report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.” The RWJ report will highlight the nurse’s role in addressing the social determinants of health and health equity. To set the stage for these great events and to create global momentum to mark the epic year, Burdett Trust for Nursing in collaboration with WHO and the International Council of Nurses (ICN) launched the Nursing Now global campaign. As of October 2019, Nursing Now has spread to 103 countries.
Nursing Now Global Campaign
Nurses practice in many settings and in different roles. Nurses have different levels of education and competencies, which makes nurses capable of generating positive outcomes in health care. With their education and training, nurses are adroit in health care policy decisions. However, there is a paucity of nurses’ involvement in health care policy and decision making. As the WHO Triple Impact report highlighted, empowering nurses may create a paradigm shift in health care that will address global health care concerns. To highlight nurses and to improve the status of nursing, the campaign chose five focus areas:
Health Care Policy – Create global awareness on positive impact of nurses and midwives in health policy decisions
Clinical Practice and Education – Influence investment in nursing education and training
Leadership – Empower nurses to assume leadership positions; increase the number of nurses in leadership positions.
Research Priority – Identify areas where nurses have a potential for the greatest impact, explore impediments to achieving their full potential and practicing at the scope of their training, and generate practical solutions for workplace conundrums
Best Practice – Share examples of best nursing practice
Nursing Now USA
American Nursing Association, U.S. Public Health Service Chief Nurse Officer, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Nursing, and the University of Washington School of Nursing collaborate in leading the Nursing Now USA campaign. With the vision, ‘Nurses Lead America to Health,’ Nursing Now USA is developing and leading activities focused on creating public awareness on nurses’ vital role in achieving equitable quality health care for all.
Nursing Now NAINA
National Association of Indian Nurses of America (NAINA) decided to join the global campaign as a local group because NAINA’s vision and goals align with the campaign focus. The official launch of Nursing Now NAINA campaign took place at the 2019 Clinical Excellence Conference. The theme of the Clinical Excellence Conference – ‘Population Health: Bridging Gaps and Improving Access to Care’ aligns with the overarching aim of the campaign. The Clinical Excellence Conference provided a venue for NAINA nurses to share examples of best clinical practice, which is one of the priority areas of the global campaign. Susan Michaels-Strasser, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, Senior Implementation Director & Associate Director for Nursing Programs at Columbia University discussed “Nursing Now: Empowering Nurses and Tackling Health Care Challenges” and NAINA lead the campaign. Letha Joseph, DNP, AGPCNP-BC discussed NAINA programs that commemorate with the campaign. Nursing Now NAINA will create opportunities for NAINA nurses to improve their competencies, maximize their professional contributions, and enhance their influence. NAINA’s campaign focus areas are enhancing clinical practice by ongoing education, empowering nurses to be leaders at bedside and beyond, and sharing examples of best nursing practice while recognizing nurses for their contributions to health care and professional nursing community.
Barbara Stilwell, PhD, RN, FRCN, is the Executive Director of Nursing Now, a three-year global campaign seeking to raise the profile of nurses.
Dr. Stilwell recently talked with Minority Nurse about what she hopes Nursing Now will accomplish before the campaign ends next year.
What follows is
an edited version of our interview.
What do you hope to accomplish?
The campaign ends in 2020 and by then we aim to achieve the following:
1. On investment: There is greater investment in the nursing workforce—in education and professional development, standards and regulation, and employment conditions as well as in numbers in training and employment.
Measurement: that there are increases globally in investment in nursing and in the numbers of nurses in training and employment, and that a trajectory has been established and progress is being made towards eliminating the shortfall of nine million nurses and midwives by 2030, tracked through the State of the World’s Nursing report.
2. On policy: The health workforce generally—and nursing and midwifery specifically—are more central to global and national health policies.
Measurement: that all global and national policies on health and health care acknowledge the role of nursing in achieving their goals and include plans for the development of nursing. That national plans for delivering UHC make specific proposals for enhancing and developing the role of nurses as the health professionals most able to deliver patient centred UHC to individuals, families, and communities.
3. On leadership and influence: There are more nurses in leadership positions where they are able to influence policy and decision making and more opportunities for leadership and development for nurses at all levels.
Measurement: at least 75% of countries have a CNO or Chief Government Nurse as part of their most senior management team with the longer term aim of all countries having such posts; there is an increase in the availability of senior leadership programs for nurses; and a global nursing leadership network is established. More young nurses have access to leadership development programs.
4. On evidence: There is more evidence available to policy and decision makers in forms that are understandable about: i) the impact of nursing and where it can have most effect, ii) the barriers that currently prevent nurses from practicing to their full potential, iii) practical methods for addressing these barriers, iv) and that there is more research underway.
Measurement: There are increasing numbers of articles on aspects of nursing in peer reviewed journals that reach an audience broader than nurses; there is a coordinated global network on research on nursing; and there are innovative methods tested of bridging the evidence to policy gap in nursing.
5. On effective practice: There is more dissemination and sharing of effective and innovative practice in nursing and improved methods for doing so.
Measurement: that there is a
coordinated global portal allowing access to examples of effective practice and
innovation that is supported by nursing organizations and available to nurses and
policy makers globally.
What has the campaign accomplished so far?
We now have 170 Nursing Now groups in 77 countries and growth continues. We are a social movement that works through its groups and networks to change the culture of nursing, and feedback so far suggests that the campaign has come at a moment when nurses are ready for change.
What do you hope to have happen in the next year?
WHO has declared 2020 will be the Year of the Nurse and Midwife and is preparing a State of the World’s Nursing Report—the first one ever. While there is support at WHO for nursing and midwifery, the presence of a global campaign has highlighted the significant issues in nursing development if Universal Health Coverage is to be achieved.
Our Nursing Now groups are spearheading initiatives to tackle today’s health issues—for example, how to achieve universal health coverage, the health of homeless people, gender-based violence, men in nursing, the image of nursing and midwifery, and many more.
How can nurses and/or health care providers become involved in it?
We have a great web site which
invites comments and case studies. Please explore it and contact us if you have
ideas. This is a movement that belongs to all nurses.
Dr. Barbara Stilwell, Global Campaign Executive Director for Nursing Now, an initiative to empower nurses worldwide by building grassroots support to demand better investment in nursing and midwifery to tackle 21st-century health challenges, is the author of “#Nursing Now," an article about this campaign, in the most recent issue of Creative Nursing: A Journal of Values, Issues, Experience, and Collaboration.
This issue is currently free to read for a limited time.
Nursing Now is organized by the Burdett Trust for Nursing, a UK-based charitable trust. As nurses’ status increases, their influence will be felt in policy, reputation, and the status of the professional nurse. Nurses themselves can begin to tackle some of the biggest challenges that are facing humanity in the next century.
No matter what location nurses practice, they face similar challenges. They want the best opportunity and training to offer their patients top-notch care so they can lead better and healthier lives on their own and within their communities. Nursing Now will push for those changes, but nurses will see them happen slowly in their own communities and then on a broader national level before becoming a worldwide trend.
The launch is the first step in an initiative that runs through 2020. Nursing Now will support other programs around the world and hep nurses become more able to influence the ways in which they work and effect change with patient and community health.
1. Greater investment in improving education, professional development, standards, regulation and employment conditions for nurses.
2. Increased and improved dissemination of effective and innovative practice in nursing.
3. Greater influence for nurses and midwives on global and national health policy, as part of broader efforts to ensure health workforces are more involved in decision-making.
4. More nurses in leadership positions and more opportunities for development at all levels.
5. 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 Now recognizes that global change begins as people work together in each and every community. As nurses band together for change, the momentum will grow and impact greater people and reach into higher changes.
The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Nursing will host with United States launch event, and nurses will be able to check the main website throughout the day to learn about other events worldwide.
On February 27, check out Nursing Now and envision and even stronger and more influential nursing future.
For more than a century, nursing has been thought of as the domain of women. But that has fluctuated over the last few centuries. Men actually dominated nursing through the mid-19th century. During the Industrial Revolution, men began leaving nursing for factory jobs. Florence Nightingale led the advancement of women in nursing, targeting upper and middle class women for nurse training. In fact, men were not allowed to serve in the Army Nurse Corps during World Wars I and II. Today, as workplaces evolve, more men are entering the profession again amidst a nursing shortage.
About 13% of nurses in the U.S. today are men, compared with 2% in 1960, according to the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. However, in the high-paying specialty of nurse anesthetist, there is an equal number of men and women.
The United States is leading the way in the increase in the number of male nurses. While the U.S. rate of men in nursing was not much higher than in Switzerland and Brazil in 1970, it rose rapidly over the next several decades and far surpassed these countries in addition to Portugal and Puerto Rico.
The rise of men in nursing is due in part to a shift in available jobs, especially as traditionally male-dominated jobs in manufacturing jobs like automakers have been taken over by automation or moved overseas for cheaper labor. A recent study published in the journal Social Science Researchreviewed eight years of Census data. The study found that of men who had worked in male-dominated industries and then became unemployed, 14% decided to enter industries dominated by women, such as nursing. Eighty-four percent of men who didn’t lose jobs moved onto traditionally female jobs. Unemployed men who got jobs in female industries received a pay increase of 3.80% when making the move.
California is expected to have the highest shortage of nurses, and Alaska will have the most job vacancies. Other states that will face shortages of nurses in the next few years include Texas, New Jersey, South Carolina, Georgia, and South Dakota.
One driver of the need for more nurses is the growth of the aging population, who will require more medical care. Job growth is expected in long-term care facilities, especially for the care of stroke and Alzheimer’s patients. The need for nurses treating patients at home or in retirement communities will continue to grow. The rise in chronic conditions such as diabetes and obesity also means more nurses will be needed.
Pay and Training
The median annual wage for registered nurses was $71,730 in 2018, according to the BLS. The lowest 10% earned less than $50,800, and the highest 10% earned more than $106,530. Those working for the government and hospitals earned the most.
But like many other professions, men are outpacing women in pay. Male RNs make an average of $5,000 more per year than their female counterparts, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This salary gap hasn’t improved since the first year the salary survey was done in 1988. The difference in pay ranges from $7,678 per year for ambulatory care to $3,873 for work in hospitals. The largest gap, $17,290 for nurse anesthetists, may explain why so many men enter that specialty.
The researchers note that increasing transparency in how much employees are paid could help narrow the gap. In addition, part of the pay gap may be due to women taking more time out of the workforce for raising their children. FiscalTiger.com suggests that offering adequate leave to both mothers and fathers after the birth of a child could have a role in making pay more equitable.
The Washington Center for Equitable Growth’s report suggests that the amount of formal training required to become a registered nurse may bring men into nursing from other occupations later in their careers. The minimum training for registered nurses is an Associate Degree in Nursing. Increasingly, employers are demanding more education, however. That includes earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. RNs in the U.S. military must have a BSN, and the Veteran’s Administration, which employs the most RNs in the country, requires a BSN for promotion.
While men are still a minority in nursing, various programs offer support and networking. The American Association for Men in Nursing was founded in 1971 but shuttered in a few years. In 1980 it was reformed and now has thousands of members. It encourages men of all ages to become nurses and supports their professional growth.
Some nursing schools also have groups to support male nursing students. New York University, for example, has Men Entering Nursing (MEN), open to all nursing students at the Rory Meyers College of Nursing to discuss the concerns and perceptions that affect men and what it means to be a male in the field of nursing.