Nurses provide care in Australia every day across every health care setting and never has the profession’s vital role in the provision of health care in this country been on greater display than over the last six months as our nation responded to major public health emergencies, including COVID-19.
Tomorrow (12 May) is International Nurses Day (IND) and an opportunity to celebrate our nursing profession.
The theme for 2020 IND is Nursing the World to Health.
“On International Nurses Day in the WHO declared Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, I am very proud to be a nurse,” Australian College of Nursing CEO, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN said. “International Nurses Day is a chance to shine a light on the central role nurses play in the delivery of best practice care and this has been clearly demonstrated as Australia responds to COVID-19.
“Nurses across the country have been the cornerstone of Australia’s battle against COVID-19. Our primary and community nurses, mental health and aged care nurses are making sure the most vulnerable and isolated Australians receive care. Nurse immunisers are helping ensure we are ready to face the flu season. We have had an army of nurses refresh their clinical skills in case we need more nurses in hospitals to cope with demand caused by the pandemic and of courses nurses have been administering thousands of COVID-19 tests.
“Our frontline nurses have shone, working in challenging conditions to keep us all safe. We have seen an extraordinary response from our nursing community across the country during this time and we acknowledge and thank them for their expertise, professionalism, quick-thinking and tireless work.
“When we talk about nursing, most people think of the nurse in scrubs caring for us in a hospital, however in Australia, our nurses specialise in more than twenty five areas of practice including rehabilitation, alcohol and other drugs, palliative care, outpatient care, academia, policy, rural and regional health, government, research, and health promotion. Nurses make up more than half of our health workforce.
“Nurses exist at almost every major point in our life cycle, and at the heart of every health and social issue we have. Nurses are personal and political, scientific and empathetic. They are health care advocates and leaders. A nurse can quite literally save your life. And will.”
Today ACN asks Australians to think about the role nurses play in carving the future of Australian healthcare.
“Nurses are expert, independent practitioners who already make an enormous contribution to the delivery of equitable and accessible health care in Australia. However, they can do more, if our health system further recognises and supports their capacity to provide quality care,” Adjunct Professor Ward said.
“ACN joins our international colleagues to highlight to our community, health system and governments, that nurses are central to the delivery of health care and make invaluable to the health of us all.”
On International Nurses Day, ACN asks all Australians to honour nurses by doing something for their own physical and mental health and wellbeing. It may be as simple as a walk, meditation, connecting with a friend or checking in on someone more vulnerable in your community.
“I believe the theme for this year’s IND could not be more fitting – our nurses really are Nursing the World to Health in 2020,” Adjunct Professor Ward said.