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Thursday January 20th

Kate Middleton joins other royals in supporting Nursing Now

Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, and World Health Organization leaders spoke through a webcast for the launch of Nursing Now, a global campaign hosted by the UNC School of Nursing and IntraHealth International, on Tuesday.

Nursing Now aims to raise the status of nurses around the world. The three-year global campaign is led by the International Council of Nurses and WHO and has members from 16 different countries.

The campaign was launched simultaneously from Chapel Hill, London, Jordan and South Africa. Each location was connected through webcast. From London, the duchess announced she was the newest royal financial patron. The duchess said the campaign meant a lot to her personally since her great-grandmother was a nurse.

“The world will need nine million more nurses by 2030,” the duchess said. “We must act now.”

In North Carolina, Barbara Stilwell, the IntraHealth senior director of health workforce solutions, said the state has a shortage of nurses in rural areas and in schools.

The program has five main goals to reach by the end of 2020. They aim to advocate for improved education, investment in more nurses, innovative practices, and more leadership positions in the field. The programs seeks more evidence about the positive impact of nursing so policy-makers can support these aims, too.

In Chapel Hill, Stilwell said the partnership between IntraHealth and the UNC School of Nursing was natural. IntraHealth grew from the Program for International Training in Health at the UNC School of Medicine.

After the webcast, the organization held a discussion to map out what will be done in North Carolina over the next three years.

“We’ll also go to East Carolina and out to the mountains to Asheville and Greensboro to the different campuses,” Stilwell said. “We can also hold a similar type of event celebrating nursing, what the local experience is of nursing and why nurses are so critical.”

Stilwell said they are trying to encourage young people to pursue nursing because the average age for nurses in America is still around 45. Sarah Walji, a Canadian registered nurse, is on the Nursing Now board to represent young nurses.

“It’s interesting because we’re globally connected to a large body of young nurses, and I think a lot of that goes forward into discussion, board meetings and representation, so it’s good to have that involvement in the younger aspect,” Walji said.

Nursing Now was formed after results came out from the Triple Impact report from the U.K.-based research group All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health. The report said the three global impacts from an increase in nurses are better health, stronger economies and greater gender equality.

Princess Muna al-Hussein of Jordan emphasized the importance of nursing with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the World Health Organization, from Geneva, Switzerland during the webcast.

“The role of nurses makes a vital difference in reaching optimal health outcomes,” al-Hussein said. “We must take a robust and ambitious approach.”


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