Happy International Nurses Day (IND) from the Nursing Council of Jamaica. Today, May 12 is celebrated worldwide as the International Day of the Nurse. It is also the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the pioneer nurse leader and a pillar of the profession of nursing. The day is being celebrated under the theme ‘Nurses: A voice to lead – Invest in Nursing and respect rights to secure global health’.
This theme points directly to a relationship between an investment in the profession and the professionals and the rewards of achieving better health status for the people of this world. I dare say that Nurses are indeed indispensable to the health care system in this and every other country throughout the world. Think of a health care system without qualified, competent, efficient, and resilient nurses and you will be faced with a health system that is in a state of collapse.
As we celebrate the vital work of nurses in this country and throughout the world, keep the following in mind. There are nursing-sensitive indicators or specific criteria for changes in an individual’s health status that are directly affected by nursing actions and care. These indicators serve as the foundation for measuring the quality of nursing care provided to our clients daily.
Poor staffing, a heavy workload, and low compensation may all disrupt the fundamental fabric of the profession. Nonetheless, nurses continue to be courageous, knowing that the collective “we”, have an obligation to adhere to the guiding principles of nursing, which include interactions and responsibilities affecting nurses, patients and other people in need of care or services, nurses and practice, nurses and the profession, and nurses and global health (The ICN Code of Ethics Revised 2021).
We recognise the magnitude of the impact of diseases globally and have been profoundly reminded of how small this global village truly is. We have also become acutely aware of the porosity of our borders and the susceptibility of our people to novel and reemerging illnesses as we have grappled with the COVID -19 pandemic over the last two years. Nurses have a tremendous role to play in disease prevention and treatment/care modalities.
Policymakers, nursing and midwifery regulators, and advocates are all critical stakeholders in ensuring that there is a sound investment in nursing. Investments that allow the nurse to benefit from individual growth while also allowing members of society who receive care to benefit from the nurses’ practice.
The Nursing Council of Jamaica honours hardworking clinicians, nurse leaders and executives, educators, researchers, advocates, and our diligent students. Continue to maintain vigilance over the profession’s fundamental tenets. Instill a sense of pride in the next generation of nurses and encourage them to value the profession. The Nursing Council, as the legal watchdog for civil society, will ensure that the statutes and precepts of the law are adhered to protect the nation as we collectively work to secure global health.
A very happy day to all the nurses in Jamaica!
May God bless you all.
Leila McWhinney- Dehaney, PhD, RN, RM