20 February 2018
Professor Dame Donna Kinnair, Director, Nursing, Policy & Practice at the Royal College of Nursing
I seem to be always talking about the challenges to nurses and our profession and recently it hasn’t made good reading. Shining a light on the current issues facing how we deliver high standards of care, how we influence the policy agenda with a government that doesn’t want to listen, and how we safeguard the health and welfare of nurses in the current climate of 40,000 vacancies. It is also my role to shine a light on the value of the profession and why I am personally supporting Nursing Now!
Nursing and midwifery are professions that touch the lives of everyone, and reach into communities throughout the globe. In order for us to transform our world we need a profession that demonstrates little self-interest but exists to improve the lives of others. Our leadership is crucial in terms of improving the health and wellbeing of societies and we know exactly what it takes and how to enable communities for positive change. Although often neglected in terms of being mentioned, if we look at many of our public health campaigns, such as managing the outbreak of ebola or reducing tuberculosis, delivering care at a bedside or the historic improvements in health care, nursing has been central to them. There is often very little mention of nurses in any of the media coverage but it is nurses on the ground who are interacting with communities, working with them, educating people, innovating and implementing the strategies for health improvement. We, by working with people, whether as patients, as families or communities, recognise how best to improve health, promote social cohesion and support social protection. Nurses are enablers for positive change and a vehicle for economic growth. It is this knowledge that makes us key to policy development and decision making for health improvements.
The Royal College of Nursing is a huge supporter of this campaign as Nursing Now raises the profile of nursing globally by encouraging solidarity and support across borders. It advocates for nurses to be more central to health policy leadership and ensure that nurses can use their skills, education and training to their full capacity in order improve health. It is a foolish society that undervalues or underutilises those that can contribute so much to this country’s development and improvement.
We aim to make those leading our society take notice of nurses. Get involved in this campaign – it launches on the 27th February.
You can read more about Nursing Now here. Nursing Now! is a programme of the Burdett Trust for Nursing.