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Molly McCarthy, MBA, RN-BC, CNO, discusses 2020 Year of the Nurse and Midwife. Nurses and Midwives account for nearly 50% of the global healthcare workforce (WHO). And in the United States, there are approximately 4 million nurses, in a variety of roles and settings—from tertiary care centers to home health, as well as academia, schools, industry, and our communities.
Why is 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife?
The World Health Organization (WHO) designated 2020 as Year of the Nurse and Midwife to raise awareness of nurses’ and midwives’ significant and varied roles in healthcare. The year 2020 was selected to honor the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Not only was Nightingale a significant contributor to the field of nursing and health care reform, she was also a pioneer in the graphical representation of statistical data.
Why did the World Health Organization launch this initiative?
Nurses and Midwives account for nearly 50% of the global healthcare workforce (WHO). And in the United States, there are approximately 4 million nurses, in a variety of roles and settings—from tertiary care centers to home health, as well as academia, schools, industry, and our communities. Nurses are critical in the health delivery system, regardless of the country, as they care for individuals and families from what we sometimes refer to as “womb to tomb” .
This initiative specifically calls out five investment areas, including a global effort to:
- Invest in more nurse-led and midwife-led services enabling nurses and midwives to work to their full potential
- Employ more specialist nurses
- Make midwives and nurses central to primary health care, providing services and supervising community health workers
- Support nurses and midwives in health promotion and disease prevention
- Invest in nursing and midwifery leadership
In addition, WHO will publish a report on the State of the World’s nursing in April 2020. This report, according to the WHO, will “provide a global picture of the nursing workforce and support evidence-based planning to optimize the contributions of this workforce to improve health and wellbeing for all and to make meaningful progress toward UHC and the SDGs. The report will set the agenda for data collection, policy dialogue, research and advocacy, and investment in the health workforce for generations to come.” (WHO)
Why is the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife important to Microsoft?
International Year of the Nurse and Midwife is significant to Microsoft. We’ve historically celebrated Nurses’ Week May 6th – 12th, and excited to dedicate 2020 (and beyond) to amplifying nurses’ and midwives’ stories and influence in health and care, and of course, for Microsoft, innovation and technology. The World Health Organization’s designation for 2020 solidifies our position that nurses and midwives are critical to the delivery of care today, and well as next generation sites of care—home, clinic, hospital, etc. Nurses and midwives are crucial as Microsoft continues to collaborate with healthcare delivery networks, health plans, life science and medical device companies to design, develop and implement technology across the care continuum. Their input and feedback is important throughout the product development cycle and their “real-world” experience is invaluable. As Microsoft seeks to be a more diverse and inclusive organization, I can’t think of a better time to celebrate the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife.
What can our viewers expect over the next year?
Our goal each month is to highlight nurses’ abilities to maintain “high-touch” while also using “high-tech” to achieve the Quadruple Aim. We are excited to share technology use cases from varied care settings and feature different roles nurses play in innovation and technology. We will also introduce opportunities for continuing nursing education in conjunction with the American Hospital Association and American Organization of Nurse Leaders. Microsoft is also an avid supporter of hackathons, and we are pursuing this idea with a potential partner. We are also open to other opportunities as they arise in 2020, and beyond.
I am excited and proud to be working with my passionate Microsoft colleagues here in the US, and across the globe, to highlight nurses and midwives’ impact on the health and well-being patients through the use of technology. I hope to see you at the HIMSS and AONL annual meetings in March.
- Molly McCarthy MBA, RN-BC, US CNO