Jan 22, 2020

2020: Celebrating the Year of the Nurse and Midwife

Nurse Visiting Senior Female Patient At Home

Nurses make up the largest health care profession, not only in the United States but in the entire world. For this reason in part, the World Health Organization (WHO) has designated 2020, the bicentenary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. It is a yearlong effort to celebrate the work of nurses and midwives, highlight the challenging conditions they often face, and advocate for increased investments in the nursing and midwifery workforce.

“Nurses and midwives are the backbone of every health system: in 2020 we’re calling on all countries to invest in nurses and midwives as part of their commitment to health for all.” – Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, MD, WHO Director-General

Organizations across the world are participating in the Year of the Nurse. Activities include:

U.S. National Academy of Medicine Report on the Future of Nursing 2020-2030

(November/December  May 2021; edited to reflect that the report release was postponed due to the pandemic)
The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) report will extend the vision for the nursing profession into 2030 and chart a path for the nursing profession to help our nation create a Culture of Health, reduce health disparities, and improve the health and well-being of the U.S. population in the 21st century.

The State of the World’s Nursing Report; The State of the World’s Midwifery Report

(April 7)
The reports will describe how the nursing workforce will help deliver United Nations’ Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goals, and highlight areas for policy development for the next three to five years. It will also provide a technical description of the nursing workforce in WHO member states, including the number and types of nurses, education, regulation, practice, leadership, and gender issues.

In Case of Emergency World Premiere

(May 7)

To celebrate all emergency nurses for their hard work, perseverance, and indelible impact on society, the Emergency Nurses Association partnered with photographer and filmmaker Carolyn Jones (of The American Nurse Project) on the Emergency Nurse Project—a full-length documentary, In Case of Emergency, that takes an up-close, personal look at this special group of health care professionals.

Nightingale: A Musical

(Through May)
HEARTS, a group of theater and music artists, health practitioners, and educators in the state of Washington who love creating community with others, has developed “Nightingale: A Musical Regarding the Life & Passion of Miss Florence Nightingale,” a play bringing Nightingale’s story to life with scenes that make her image relevant for modern audiences, inspire nurses with a powerful role model, and dramatize a crucial part of nursing history.

For an up-to-date list of events taking place across the world, see the compilation by Nursing Now, a three-year global campaign to improve health by raising the status and profile of nursing.

 Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action Activities

Here at the Campaign for Action, an initiative of AARP Foundation, AARP, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, we will continue to highlight the important roles that nurses take on throughout the year. Activities include:

The 2020 Nursing Innovations Fund

Action Coalitions will have another opportunity to earn Nursing Innovations Fund awards for initiatives that have nurses collaborating with a diversity of stakeholders. More details soon to come.

Nurses Week May 6-12

The Campaign works to advancing nursing every week of the year, but this is the week we officially tip our hats to America’s 4 million nurses.

Health Equity Action Forum: Building a Diverse and Inclusive Nursing Workforce

The September 16 forum will convene nursing partners and key stakeholders to develop action steps for diversifying the nursing workforce.

2020 Campaign for Action Summit

The December 3-4 summit, in Washington, D.C.,  June 3-4 summit, will focus on the NAM’s newly released future of nursing 2020-2030 report. (edited to reflect that the Campaign for Action Summit was postponed until June 2021 due to the pandemic).

Nurses are imperative to the success of their organizations, professions, and health care as a whole, and the Campaign will recognize and celebrate that throughout the year.

How are you or your organization celebrating the Year of the Nurse? Let us know. Email Aidan McCallion at amccallion@aarp.org.

Make sure that you come back to check out our blog as we highlight activities and events taking place throughout the year.