We are delighted that this report celebrating the global contribution of nurses to palliative care was launched on World Health Day – Wednesday 7th April 2021.
In it we highlight the work of 27 nurses, some working in low and middle-income countries, some in high income settings, some developing services, others working in humanitarian settings, some in clinical care, some in education, research, academia, and advocacy.
There are so many nurses around the world who we could have included, and it was hard to choose but hopefully it will give you a feel of the incredibly diverse yet important contributions these nurses make. In this past year, we have also seen nurses taking their place in the fight against COVID-19. Nurses have been on the frontline alongside their colleagues, and sadly many have also lost their lives. At such a time, we wanted to take this opportunity to recognise and value the work of palliative care nurses around the world.
Nurses play a key role in the provision of palliative care globally, and during the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife in 2020, we wanted to recognise this and celebrate their work. Unfortunately, the development of the report was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as now we are in the International Year of the Health Worker, we thought we could continue to celebrate the work of nurses.
The first ever State of the Worlds’ Nursing Report was published in 2020 by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Council of Nurses (ICN), and Nursing Now. It recognises the unique role of the nurse in the provision of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and demonstrates a commitment to ongoing progress in nursing development throughout the world, the need to invest in nursing education, create new jobs, and strengthen nurse leadership. Nurses play a vital role throughout the health system and there is much to celebrate in nursing, whilst recognising the inequities around the world and all that still needs to be done to strengthen nursing globally. Thus, we felt it was fitting to compile this report to celebrate the work of nurses in the field of palliative care.
As we work to continue developing and strengthening palliative care, we have had the privilege of meeting nurses around the world working in the field, some who are newly qualified and full of enthusiasm, others who are nearing the end of their careers and are keen to pass on their knowledge and skills.
The role of nurses and the respect for nurses varies in different countries, yet we learn about the dedication and passion of nurses working in palliative care everywhere – caring for adults and children, alongside their families and loved ones. The commitment of the nurses we meet is impressive, and we see nurses stepping outside of their comfort zone, providing compassionate and holistic care, speaking out for the people they care for, advocating for palliative care and access to essential medicines, and working together with others as part of an interdisciplinary team.
This report is a celebration of the pivotal role of nurses in palliative care across the globe. We hope that it will also serve as an inspiration to policymakers, health care administrators, and managers to support nurses so they can have a more prominent voice in health policymaking, education, and care provision.
Also published on the International edition of ehospice.