2020 – International Year of the Nurse & Midwife – this must be our year
2020, the World Health Organisation designated International Year of the Nurse & Midwife, is our year.
It is the year for our voices to be heard and for Australia’s politicians to recognise our value by investing in the nursing and midwifery workforce. Genuinely. Properly. Truly.
It is not the year for more platitudes, lip service and ‘pats on the back’ in lieu of genuine recognition of nurses’ and midwives’ work and honest, meaningful support for that work.
It is the year to guarantee:
- Safe staffing ratios for nurses and midwives across every sector
- Safe environments in every place nurses & midwives work and an end to workplace violence
- Nurses & midwives are enabled to work to full capacity
- Urgent action on climate change and its devastating health effects, which could not be more critically needed than right now in the midst of Australia’s bushfire crisis.
This will require politicians and governments to respond to the evidence before them and invest in staffing ratios in all sectors and in creating safe working environments across the country. It will require the expansion of nurse and midwife-led models of care that are innovative, increase access for all and lead to better health outcomes for communities and much better use of nurse practitioners working in proper jobs. It will require legislative and policy support to enable all nurses and midwives to work to their full scope of practice. And, it will require immediate action and an urgent, whole-of-government response to climate change.
It will also require us, Australia’s nurses and midwives, to take action to make this happen. If we want our voices to be heard, then we have to speak up. We have to make sure that nurses and midwives are present and contributing at all levels of critical decision-making processes, from the patient’s bedside to national health taskforces and committees. We must not accept others imposing decisions on us without consultation.
The evidence is behind us, our work is the proof of the difference nurses and midwives can make – this year must be our year to shine.
The ANMF will be celebrating the work of nurses and midwives throughout 2020, with a series of national and ANMF Branch events and activities to be held across all states and territories. Stay tuned for regular updates here on the ANMF website and for more details on what’s happening in your state or territory go to your branch’s website.