Nurse leaders from seven national nursing associations (NNAs) around the world attending the International Council of Nurses (ICN) International Workforce Forum adopted and endorsed the WHO Global Priorities including the Sustainable Development Goals, Universal Health Coverage, Integrated Person Centred Care, and the Human Resources for Health (HRH) Declaration that HRH must be viewed as an investment not as a cost.
Held in Lisbon, 22-23 November 2017, the ICN International Workforce Forum (IWFF) welcomed the acknowledgment of the WHO Director General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, that nurses and nursing care are essential to achieve these priorities.
In a public Communiqué, the Forum called on all governments to immediately work on HRH planning with all partners in health, education and human resources to do more to educate and retain nurses so each country can achieve a greater level of self-sufficiency in the supply of nurses. Inspired by the recent Dublin Declaration’s call for “increased and transformative investments in the health workforce”, IWFF participants highlighted the need for governments and concerned ministries to work with NNAs to match the need for more nurses working in the primary health care sectors and in community based integrated care systems.
The Communiqué also called on nurse leaders, trade unions and professional organisations to campaign for the use of tools, systems and processes to achieve safe staffing levels, decent working conditions, free of violence and better, safer futures for patients and the nurses who care for them.
“ICN would like to thank the Ordem dos Enfermeiros in Portugal for hosting this year’s event,” said Howard Catton, ICN’s Director of Nursing and Health Policy. “It was tremendously valuable to have a regulatory contribution to the Forum in order to recognise the interdependencies of working environments and public safety.”
Participants at the ICN International Workforce Forum also discussed the important issues of continuous professional development; Primary health care and community nursing; nursing education; pay and negotiating strategies; influencing policy and political decision-making; and climate change.
The ICN’s International Workforce Forum is an annual gathering that probes and debates nursing workforce issues and working conditions, as well as stimulating thinking and enhancing learning to ultimately develop proactive strategies. The Forum also assists to maintain the relevance of ICN programmes and support international work.
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