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Department: Editorial

2020—the year of the nurse

Section Editor(s): Davis, Charlotte MSN, RN, CCRN

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doi: 10.1097/01.NME.0000613632.75079.b6
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Have you heard? 2020 is the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife! Endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO), this global celebration aims to “highlight the enormous sacrifices and contributions of nurses and midwives and ensure that we address the shortage of these vital professions,” according to WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. 2020 is also the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth. To honor Nightingale, Nursing Now, a collaboration between the WHO and the International Council of Nurses (ICN), has launched the Nightingale Challenge 2020, calling for “every employer of nurses globally to provide leadership and development training for 20 young nurses and midwives next year.”

Although advanced medical treatment modalities are available in many countries throughout the world, in some countries access to basic medical care is transient. The availability of medical services, along with travel health advisories, disease outbreak information, and disease mortality have been closely tracked and communicated to the international community by the WHO since its inception in 1948. Currently, the WHO employs over 7,000 people working in more than 150 country offices from 194 member states and in six regional offices, as well as its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Each of the six regional offices has a separate website that provides educational information on health promotion topics, risk reduction strategies, and emerging issues in global health.

The WHO offers valuable educational resources that are readily available for nurses to utilize in both electronic and print formats on topics ranging from nutrition to disabilities to updated treatment recommendations and current statistics for viral, fungal, and bacterial contagions. As nurses, we're well known for being safety advocates and optimizing the holistic care of our patients, families, and communities. Exploring the immense wealth of information available from the WHO can benefit both our own health maintenance needs and our community's health and wellness. On the WHO's website, you can read historical archives detailing past epidemics; find out about new current trends in injury, disease, and illness management; and participate in online seminars that address current global health conditions. Consider expanding your knowledge by visiting

Now in our 17th year, Nursing made Incredibly Easy! will also focus on wellness in 2020. In this issue, you'll find our new Wellness Mention column, which brings you information on complementary therapies such as pet therapy (see page 5). We're also taking a look at the effects of mindfulness on hypertension (see page 36). Join us throughout the year as we shine a light on wellness for your patients, your community, and yourself.

The WHO's Dr. Ghebreyesus has stated that nurses are the “bridge of healthcare,” linking communities with complex healthcare systems. Because we're on the “front lines,” we're key to bringing safe, quality healthcare to people around the world. In fact, the ICN's 2020 theme for International Nurses Day (May 12th) is “nursing the world to health.” Are you ready to start the new year with this challenge? Let's get going!

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