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|WHO Planning New Online Community to Connect Nurses Across the Globe by peter: Fri Oct 2021 08:31pm|
The World Health Organization (WHO) is set to launch a virtual network where nurses and midwives can share knowledge, research and innovative ideas on a global level, it has been announced.
Chief nursing officer of the WHO, Elizabeth Iro, said the new ‘global community of practice’ will be available from early next year and aims to promote further opportunities for colleagues across the world to “support each other”.
The idea was born out of discussions with nurse leaders around the globe who told the WHO that “opportunities to meet, share ideas and learn from each other are rare, but have huge value”.
“So, to support and strengthen our opportunities to work better together, WHO has established a ‘global community of practice’ for nurses and midwives, in response to the request to be better connected and to share knowledge, research and innovative ideas,” Ms Iro said during a speech at the annual Queen’s Nursing Institute on Wednesday.
“It will provide a network for us to meet, discuss our global issues and share good practices, knowledge and innovation in specialty areas.
“It will bring benefits to both nursing and midwifery and contribute to our commitment to keeping our people safe and to achieving universal health.”
With rising levels of burnout and mental health concerns among the profession, especially amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the online network also hopes to provide a virtual space for nurses and midwives to support one another, she noted.
Ms Iro added: “My overwhelming hope, when we emerge from this pandemic, is that we build and strengthen our health and care workforce by working together, by recognising that our successes are not defined by our individual skills and professional capability, and how we combine our knowledge and work with one another at every level… to keep our communities safe.”
During her address at the virtual QNI conference, Ms Iro paid tribute to the efforts of the profession throughout the pandemic, while calling for action to ensure nurses have a voice at the highest levels going forwards.
“Nurses played a critical and central role during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the complex work of our profession in the areas of public health, emergency care and vaccination has been very prominent and visible to all,” she said.
However, this has “come at a devastating cost”, with an estimated more than 100,000 health and care worker deaths from Covid-19 across the globe, added Ms Iro.
The pandemic had also “exacerbated” nurse shortages and has had a detrimental impact on the mental health of an “already under-resourced nursing workforce”, she noted.
“Countries were challenged to keep their health workforce safe, and many did not have resilient health systems to cope with a prolonged crisis,” said Ms Iro.
Nurses had been “exposed and affected by the consequences of inadequate planning” during the outbreak, she added.
“As nursing leaders, we must contribute to strategies to ensure we are never in that situation again,” she said.
“Our workforce is fragile and as we move forward, we have learned the importance of having senior nursing leaders at the table where decisions around strategy and planning are made.”
Source : Nursing Times
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