Jane Wray writes:
I was delighted to be able to attend the conference this year and present some more of your findings from the STaR project on “Student Reflections on the Transition to Newly Qualified Nurse”. I delivered my session to a mixed group of recently qualified nurses, clinicians and academics and it was really useful to get some further feedback on our work to date. Thanks to everyone who attended and asked questions. The importance of supporting the nursing workforce and nurturing ‘new nurses’ (not eating them!) was also highlighted earlier in the day in the keynote speeches.
This year the conference placed the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife 2020 at its very centre and was opened with a message from Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (Director General, WHO). This was followed by Ms Elizabeth Iro (Chief Nursing Officer, WHO) who delivered the keynote address ‘Nurses and Midwives Making a Difference: A Global Approach for Country Impact”. She spoke about the important role of nurses and midwives and that this year was a once in a generation opportunity to make visible the contribution to universal health and wellbeing. She asked ‘Why now?’ and answered ‘Why not?’ it was time for nurses and midwives to raise their voices and tell their stories – and to look beyond 2020 and leave a legacy for the future.
These messages were reinforced by Professor Rita Borg Xuereb (International Confederation of Midwives) in her keynote address “Celebrate, Demonstrate, Mobilise, Unite”. She described 2020 as a unique opportunity to collaborate and advocate for our professions and the need for investment to scale up and deliver transformative education, lifelong learning, regulation and research. The final keynote of the morning was from Lord Nigel Crisp (Co-Chair of the UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health and Co-Chair of the Nursing Now campaign) on “Nursing Now – Lessons from the Campaign and Thoughts for the Future”. He was very clear that if you enhance the profile and status of nurses and midwives you enhance the whole team as they are at the centre of healthcare. His final comments focused on the need to leverage the momentum of 2020 and Nursing Now and create a legacy (and a big thanks to the Burdett Trust for Nursing for supporting this work).