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2020: the Year of the Nurse and of further challenges

26 March 2020
Volume 29 · Issue 6

This is the first ever International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, designated by the World Health Organization (WHO, 2020a) in recognition of the contributions they make to patients' lives. It also highlights the nursing shortages and the risks posed by barriers to recruitment. The WHO estimates that the world will need an additional 9 million nurses and midwives by 2030 and action is needed now to achieve this (WHO, 2020b). These are scary statistics. Nurses make up the largest number of health professionals in the NHS workforce and this is an opportunity for showcasing talent and diversity within the profession and an opportunity to encourage young people to consider nursing as a rewarding career.

This is also an opportunity to share knowledge and best practice. The Association of Stoma Care Nurses (ASCN) UK is uniting with the World Council of Enterostomal Therapists (WCET) this year for a joint conference ( during which these skills and diversities will be shared with the aim of achieving collaborative discussion and improvements to the delivery of care. It is tempting to concentrate purely on the specialism with which we are familiar, but it is important to have a broad vision of the issues that pertain to all nurses and the wider profession. Sharing our successes with international peers can only strengthen our knowledge and positions as leaders in nursing.

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