The space nursing holds in the health care fraternity cannot be over emphasized, ICN (International Council of Nurses) president Annette Kennedy last week as we celebrated International Nurses Day noted that “Nurses make up 59% of the health workforce and work across all settings.”
Despite the integral role it plays, the nursing profession has been eroded over the years. External factors include nurse shortages, low income, poor working conditions and poor health systems among others. Internal factors including infighting among the different cadres, lack of mentor-ship for novice nurses. These have dealt a major blow to the stature of the noble profession. Underscoring its need for a radical surgery to get back to its feet. The COVID-19 might just be the radical surgery it needed after all.
Nurses should seize this special opportunity and make the best out of it, so that as we emerge from the pandemic the light of the nurse should remain high in the watch tower and not come down with the pandemic.
Nurses call upon the government leaders not to only focus on the short term benefits but build foundations for better health policies. These foundations will grow the profession to greater heights and regain it’s lost glory. Nurses should take the chance to build stronger nurses’ bodies, whose sole purpose should be to foster the profession. They should demand for space in health leadership across all settings; hospitals, unions, even political spaces. Personal efforts in work places should be in line with ethics such as beneficence and non-maleficence.
In conclusion our attention should be drawn to the Florence Nightingale’s pledge which reads in part, “…I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession…”
Let us seize this opportunity!