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World Health Organization. The WHO global strategic directions for nursing and midwifery (2021–2025). 2021. (accessed 29 August 2023)

A global approach to workforce issues

07 September 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 16


Sam Foster, Executive Director of Professional Practice, Nursing and Midwifery Council, considers how World Health Organization documents can point the way to improving nursing and midwifery education

Worldwide, the nursing workforce is an important issue. Typically, my go to documents, papers and so on have been UK in origin. However, since I began a national role, knowing what is happening globally has become of greater importance, particularly as the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) progress work on several areas of professional practice. A key priority is considering pre-registration education options after the UK's exit from the EU.

I am a member of the Scottish Government Ministerial Taskforce on Nursing and Midwifery, which aims to recognise and value the contribution of the nursing and midwifery professions in Scotland, by building sustainable and skilled nursing and midwifery workforces. The key topics we have discussed this month are not new, with work in key areas already published. The views of a friend – Professor Aisha Holloway, who has been on a secondment with the World Health Organization (WHO) – expressed during this month's meeting, reminded me of key publications from the WHO when considering the global evidence available to inform our thinking.

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