Have you heard? 2020 is Year of the Nurse and Midwife!

2020 is an exciting year for nurses and midwives around the world. As announced in the 72nd World Health Assembly in Geneva, the World Health Organization will work together with its partners and collaborating centers to recognize 2020 as Year of the Nurse & Midwife.

In honor of the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale and in recognition of the important role both nurses and midwives play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and universal health coverage, the Year of the Nurse & Midwife 2020 will be filled with many important reports, events, and opportunities. The Global Network WHOCCs for Nursing & Midwifery will recognize and be participating in many of these, including:

How our Collaborating Centers are recognizing Nurses and Midwives for YONM

James Cook University


WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Education and Research Capacity-Building

    • The centre has and will continue to post information and advertising for 2020 the year of the nurse and midwife.

    • The centre plans to hold a morning tea and celebration for International Nurses day and International Day of the Midwife.

University of Technology Sydney


WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing, Midwifery and Health

WHO, in conjunction with all member states, is working to produce the first ever State of the World’s Nursing (SoWN) report. The WHO SoWN report will be launched on World Health Day in 2020, in line with the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, and prior to the WHO 73rd World Health Assembly. Through discussions, it has been decided that the State of the World’s Midwifery report will be progressed for release in 2021.These milestone documents will provide a technical description of the nursing and the midwifery workforces in member states around the world to inform policy dialogue on strengthening nursing and midwifery, and accelerating progress across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and UHC.

The WHO CC UTS is assisting with the collection of complex SoWN data across Pacific Island member states where nurses and midwives constitute approximately 78% of the health workforce. To support this work, WHO CC UTS hosted 14 Pacific Island CNMOs at UTS to collect and collate data and discuss the common regional issues and key challenges facing nurses and midwives across their nations. The objective was to increase the capacity of data literacy needs, bolster nursing and midwifery networks across the region and compile data from the Pacific countries for the SoWN report.

WHO CC UTS has planned to host a celebration to recognise 2020 as the year of the nurse and the midwife, to observe World Health Day, and the launch of SoWN report on 9 April 2020. Due to the pandemic the celebration will be an online webinar event. The former CNMO of Australia, the Hon. Health Minister of the Kingdom of Tonga Dr Amelia Afuha’amango, WHO WPRO Regional Adviser Dr Indrajit Hararika, Nursing Now campaign Board Member Professor Jill White have agreed to speak at the event, along with WHO CC Director Michele Rumsey. Colleagues from UTS and the South Pacific Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officers Alliance (SPCNMOA) are invited to join the celebration online.

In addition, the WHO CC UTS is working with the WHO WPRO to research and document the Vital Roles of Nurses, highlighting the important work undertaken by nurses and midwives in the Western Pacific region. This series of case studies will be published and launched later in 2020.

Paracelsus Medical University, Institute of Nursing Science and Practice


WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing Research & Palliative Care Education

To mark the 2020 as the official year of nurses and midwives, the European Association for Palliative Care together with the WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing Research and Education at the Paracelsus Medical University in Salzburg has launched a special series of 12 monthly posts to honour the work of nurses who work in palliative care and draw attention to several issues that are linked to this crucial workforce. (link)

A German Webpage has been launced for Vlogs and Blogs to discuss issues relevant for nurses and midwives in German-speaking world: (link)

University of Botswana


WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Development

    • Health and Wellness day was held for the entire University of Botswana planned for May 2020.

    • The School of Nursing participated in Nursing Leadership Forum to participate in the preparation for International Year of the Nurse and Nursing Now.

    • The WHOCC Director and the coordinator attended the Launch of the Florence Nightingale Roving Lamp hosted in Maun. The stakeholders were Botswana Nurse Union and MOHW, who are our partners.

University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto, College of Nursing


PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing Research Development

In partnership with PAHO/WHO and the Brazilian Federal Nursing Council, this CC coordinated the launch of the Nursing Now campaign in Brazil and its activities until 2020. The campaign aims to improve perceptions of nurses, enhance their influence and maximize their contribution to ensuring that everyone everywhere has access to health and health care.

The launch of Nursing Now Brazil was carried out on April 24, 2019 and had the participation of Dr. Elizabeth Iro, Chief Nursing Officer, World Health Organization; Dr. Carissa Etienne, Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and Regional Director for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO); Dr. Annette Kennedy, President International Council of Nurses; Dr. Barbara Stilwell, Executive Director, Nursing Now Global Campaign; Dr. Silvia Helena De Bortoli Cassiani, Regional Advisor on Nursing and Allied Health Personnel/Health Systems and Services/Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), and Dr. Luiz Henrique Mandetta, Ministry of Health of Brazil. 

The Director and Counselor of this CC are part of the National Group that organizes the activities related the Nursing Now campaign in Brazil. In addition, this CC integrated a national Committee responsible to work on the organization of the State of the World’s Nursing Report in Brazil. Members of this CC are working with PAHO/Brazil to review and validate the translations to Portuguese of documents related to the National Health Workforce Accounts.

McMaster University


WHO Collaborating Centre in Primary Care Nursing and Health Human Resources

The WHO CC in Primary Care and Health Human Resources at McMaster University will collaborate with PAHO/WHO, upon request, to provide data for the State of the World Nursing Report and State of the World Midwifery Report. The McMaster
WHO CC will support PAHO/WHO by providing available data on Canada’s Nursing Health Workforce.

The research team at McMaster University and the Nursing Health Services Research Unit work with government and employers who hire Internationally Educated Nurses (IEN’s) to support their integration into the workforce. As part of the Hurdle of Employment: Integrating IENs into Ontario’s Workforce project, led by Dr. Andrea Baumann, Associate Vice-President, Global Health, and Director, WHO Collaborating Centre in Primary Care Nursing and Health Human Resources, McMaster University developed a webinar series Nursing Workforce Planning: Tapping into Diverse Talent. This project is to increase the uptake and integration of IEN’s who are licensed and ready to enter practice in Ontario.

University of Chile


WHO Collaborating Centre for Development of Midwifery

August 28th 2019: Celebration of the International Day of the Midwife and Commemoration of 185 years since the creation of te School of Midwifery University of Chile: Seminar “Quality of Care in Maternal and Neonatal Health: Moving to a positive Childbirth Experience.

August and September 2020: Celebration of the International Day of the Midwife
International Research Conference i Sexual and Reproductive Health

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile


WHO Collaborating Centre for Health Services and Nursing Development for Noncommunicable Disease Care

On the event of the International Health Day (April 7), on the topic of “Nurses and midwives: Leading the way to Universal Health,” the 2020 edition of “The State of the World’s Nursing Report” will be launched. The CC will organize a national activity with experts around the topic of the role of nursing in today’s world, using an online platform.

It has been planned an induction for 30 nurses and leaders to Sigma Theta Tau International during the International Nurses Day (May 12), emphasizing the relevance of nursing in health care systems.

Nursing Research Foundation


WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing

Our WHOCC’s director and deputy director wrote an opinion article to the Helsingin Sanomat (the biggest newspaper in Finland) about the Year of the Nurse and Midwife and the current position nursing has in Finland. In the article, both policymakers and nurses were encouraged to work together to raise the status of nursing to a position it should be. Available from this link.

As one of this year’s activities, the CC invited representatives from all nursing or midwifery related trade unions and policymakers focusing on nursing affairs in Finland to a joint meeting in January 2020. In this meeting the participants discussed about cooperative activities that could be taken together to raise the status of nursing during year 2020. Two different kinds of events, one for a public audience and one for policymakers, is under planning.

The CC will raise issues related to nursing in different context during this year. This year the special focus is on the status of nursing and how it could be raised. For example, an evidence tip about different factors that could, based on evidence, support nurses to stay in the nursing profession will be published.

Christian Medical College and Hospital


WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Development

The College of Nursing, Christian Medical College, Vellore consciously strives to develop young nurses and midwives as professionally excellent and ethically sound individuals with an exciting and rewarding career equipping them to take the role of specialists, educators, counselors, leaders and administrators. Sixty-five young nurses, aged less than 35 years were enrolled in the training and development programme for the Nightingale Challenge.

A major event conducted on February, 13th and 14th, 2020 was the National Community Health nursing conference with the theme “Community Health Nurses: Trendsetters for Universal Health Coverage to Compact NCDs.” During this time there was an official launch of the “I Support” Nursing Now Global Campaign at the College of Nursing, CMC in the presence of Dr. Dileep Kumar, President, Indian Nursing Council, India. 

During the annual sports event of the College of Nursing, the students danced to the rhythm of lively music falling into formations of white heart symbolizing Nursing, stethoscope symbolizing health care, Nightingale lamp in memory of Florence Nightingale, symbol of peace denoting the journey of Nursing and the final formation of the words of the global campaign slogan of nursing “I support” Nursing Now.

The young faculty will be given opportunity to reflect on Nursing as a rewarding profession and would compile them and release a souvenir of the same. In service education and workshop will be conducted for capacity building.

The UWI School of Nursing, Mona (UWISON)


WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Development in the Caribbean

Our Centre participated in the national launch of the year of The Nurse and Midwife on January 31, 2020. The Centre is also involved in a Think Tank examining issues impacting on the professions of nursing and midwifery. In addition, two representatives are participating in the Nightingale Leadership Challenge.

St. Luke's International University


WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing Development in Primary Health Care

Japanese Nursing Association launched the “Nursing Now Campaign in Japan” in September 2019 to promote the campaign activities throughout Japan. As a member of the campaign, we have promoted the Campaign at our school by initially creating tin badges of Nursing Now logo for faculties and students and planned to have a session at the 40th annual conference of Japan Academy of Nursing Science to be held in December 2020.

Lithuanian University of Health Sciences


WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing Education and Practice

17-19 January 2020: National Nursing Forum has been organized which was dedicated for the campaign Nursing Now 2020 and for International Nurses and Midwives Year 2020.

12 February 2020: The conference CLINICAL PASTORATION: SPIRITUAL NEEDS OF PATIENTS and LIMITS OF TREATMENT, which was dedicated campaign Nursing Now 2020 and for International Nurses and Midwives Year 2020.

At the beginning of the January, Prof. Jurate Macijauskiene initiated the meeting at the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Lithuania with the aim to plan the activities for 2020. The coordination group was established having the aim to elaborate plan for 2020 and organizing event every month. The key even was planned on the May 8th National conference for nurses and midwives at the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania with invited international speakers. Unfortunately, due to coronavirus pandemic, all events now are either cancelled either postponed.

University of Malawi, Kamuzu College of Nursing


WHO Collaborating Centre for Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice

1. Show casting Publications

2. Displaying modern techniques and gadgets in Skills Laboratory Equipment from NEST 360, USAID under Advancements in Post-Partum Hemorrhage Care (APPHC) under PRONTO, a low-tech and high-fidelity simulation-based training for obstetric and neonatal emergencies and teamwork

University of Nursing, Yangon


WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Development

To celebrate the year of Nurse and Midwife 2020, the University of Nursing (Yangon) commenced planning since September 2019, and consulted other stakeholders including the Myanmar Nurse Midwife Council, Myanmar Nurse Midwife Association and other academic nursing institutions.

Meetings were held several times at the University of Nursing (Yangon) to incorporate in the program the activities which would highlight the achievements and accomplishments of nurses in education, service and research areas. The proposal was developed to submit to the WHO country office and to the Department of Human Resources for Health (DHRH), Ministry of Health and Sports. The National Nursing Now Committee was formed as instructed and that was chaired by the Director General of the DHRH. The programs were suggested, then fine-tuned to ensure the variety, and inclusiveness of all nurses and midwives across the country in-service or otherwise.

As the preliminary function before launching, Dr Catherine Hannaway, global health consultant and programme Director of the 2020 Nightingale Challenge in Northern Ireland, UK was invited to Yangon, and on the talk taking place at the University of Nursing (Yangon) on 6th December 2019, she shared with the audience, how “Nurses and Midwives Tackling 21st Century Global Health Challenges” and activities relating to “Nursing Now Global Campaign,” and “The 2020 Nightingale Challenge” in different parts of the world.

Mahidol University, Ramathibodi School of Nursing


WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Development

We plan to arrange one day conference regarding 2020 the year of the nurse and midwife including Ramathibodi nursing museum celebration. We also plan to arrange three days of nursing conferences with faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital by arranging Florence Nightingale’s honor for the first session.

Chiang Mai University, Faculty of Nursing


WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Development

We have added banners to our website advertising the year of the nurse and midwife and we are also hosting the 13th biennial WHO CC conference where we have integrated topics related to the 2020 year of the nurse and midwife into the conference topics.

We announced the 13th biennial WHO CC conference and its tie-in to the 2020 year of the nurse and midwife at the 23rd EAFONS conference which we hosted in January 2020. While promoting the EAFONS conference, we routinely used the #nurses2020 handle to connect with those who were interested in the #nurses2020 campaign.

Glasgow Caledonian University Department of Nursing & Community Health

United Kingdom

WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing Education, Research & Practice

Our WHO CC Director is a member of the Scottish CNO working group to plan a national approach to YoNM celebrations. Our WHO Collaborating Centre has initiated a monthly twitter debate for Nursing Now, focusing on topical questions.

Cardiff University, College of Biomedical and Life Sciences, School of Healthcare Sciences

United Kingdom

WHO Collaborating Centre for Midwifery Development

Our YONM celebrations include: launch of Midwifery Assessment Tool for Education (MATE) with WHO EURO; co-ordinating a series of GNWHOCC Midwifery Network webinars; participating in various events led by Wales Nursing & Midwifery Now.

Cardiff University School of Healthcare Sciences is hosting information and promotion events about nursing & midwifery during each month of 2020, to showcase the unique caring and compassion of our two professions. Midwifery events will highlight how important midwives are globally to the health & care of women, newborns and families.

Public Health England, Chief Nurse Directorate

United Kingdom

WHO Collaborating Centre for Public Health Nursing & Midwifery

WHO has designated 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife dedicated to showcasing both professions, raising status and profile, encouraging investment and recruitment. PHE including the WHO CC will be involved in a range of activities highlighting the impact of nursing and midwifery on population health and the roles and skill of public health nurses and midwives, reflecting and strengthening the acknowledgement of the role of nurses and midwives in providing excellent, preventative care and ensuring universal coverage, enabling gender progression to a profession and contributing to economic prosperity. PHE employs and benefits from over 300 nurses and midwives across various roles; playing a vital role in shaping public health policy, health protection, supporting local delivery and providing professional leadership to health visitors and school nurses.

We are planning to take the opportunity to showcase many people and roles during the year demonstrating the breadth and impact of nursing and midwifery public health careers. Through blogs, presentations at national events, we will highlight the diverse roles nurses have in the public health system. We are joining in the national and international celebrations and planning our own activities.

– The Chief Public Health Nurse attended an event hosted by the Florence Nightingale Foundation at the House of Lords, where the Secretary of State Matt Hancock and NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens both spoke about the vital role that nurses and midwives play in the health system and in people’s lives.
– The Chief Public Health Nurse involved in the global meeting of nurse leaders ahead of the World Health Assembly in May where a seminal report – “State of the World’s Nursing” – will be launched.
– The Chief Public Health Nurse in England who is working with other Government Chief Nursing Officers (GCNOs) of the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland, to undertake a collaborative approach to developing a framework defining what nursing and midwifery is, creating a collective voice to outline the contribution of nursing to others, such as policy makers, the media and the public, through the use of stories . This will be launched on International Nurses Day in May 2020.

Planned activities include: Speakers at International events (Thailand, Oslo, Greece, Sunderland), PHE Annual Conference, Queen’s Nursing Institute Nightingale 2020 conference, Nurses and midwives participating in a National Park Run, highlighting the leadership role they have in public health prevention, Symposium event in November in partnership with a University as well as blogs, nurse profiles and social media.

University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing

United States

WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Leadership

We are planning year-long activities on campus, within the city of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We are coordinating activities with other schools of nursing and health systems. Some of these activities that highlighted 2020 as the year of the nurse and midwife include:
1) Regular marketing messages via local radio
2) Second Annual Nursing Story Slam on February 12, 2020: link
3) Dedicated webpage: link 
4) Year of the Nurse and Midwife Pop-Up Exhibit: Scott Memorial Library at Jefferson University: link

University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Nursing

United States

WHO Collaborating Center for International Nursing

    • February 11, 2020: Kick-off event for the Year of the Nurse and Midwife in conjunction with the 70th Anniversary of the UAB School of Nursing. (link)

    • April 7, 2020: Representatives from the UAB School of Nursing to attend the World Health Day and the release of the State of the World Nursing report at PAHO Headquarters in Washington, DC.

    • May 6-12, 2020: Nurses Week, culminating with “Birmingham Nurses Night Out”; gathering of nurses throughout the city for a celebration of their contributions.

    • May 13, 2020: Event at the UAB School of Nursing marking Florence Nightingale’s 200th Birthday and the International Year of the Nurse & Midwife

    • May 16-17, 2020: Participation in the “Health for All” Film Festival during the 73rd World Health Assembly in Geneva with submission of the video “Nurses Making a Difference”. Please click here for video.

    • June 16-18, 2020: Co-sponsors of Advocacy & Policy Conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand with invited keynote speaker, Dean Harper, invited panelist, Dr. Shirey and a panel delegation (Drs. Ladores, Markaki, Prapanjaroensin, and Shorten).

    • October 1-3: Weekend of events celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the UAB School of Nursing in conjunction with the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

Columbia University, School of Nursing

United States

WHO Collaborating Centre for Advanced Practice Nursing

Activities extend throughout the year 2020. In March we are hosting an event with Sigma, while they are at the United Nations for Commission on the Status of Women to recognize nurses. In May we are traveling to Sierra Leone and Liberia to honor in collaboration with the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officers in both countries the nurses and midwives who dedicated their lives to the Ebola response in 2014-2016.

In September we are having a policy forum to recommend how nurses and midwives on the frontlines of pandemic response can maximize their participation in policy recommendations at global, regional and country levels.

Dr. Jennifer Dohrn is working with PAHO/WHO for the May 2020 World Health Assembly’s State of Nursing and State of Midwifery reports.

University of Michigan, School of Nursing, Office of International Affairs

United States

WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Clinical Training in Health Promotion Nursing

We will be celebrating the Year of the Nurse and the Year of the Midwife through a film series, special events, and a virtual art exhibit throughout 2020. See here for coming events: link

In February students, faculty and community members learned about the important role nurses in Sierra Leone played in responding to the Ebola crisis in their country through a screening of “Survivors: Hope and Resilience in the Time of Ebola.” We are planning additional events in collaboration with the nurses of the University of Michigan Health System.

University of Miami, School of Nursing and Health Studies

United States

WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing Human Resources Development and Patient Safety

Guyana Nursing Education Course: A certificate in Nursing education program offered to 27 nursing tutors from various institutions in Guyana The course is a collaboration of the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies and Minister of Health in Guyana. 

Nursing Now Lecture series – Nightingale challenge 2020: The University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies engaged more than 40 promising early career nurses from Latin America and the Caribbean to complete a leadership development course conducted live via Zoom, featuring a three-part lecture series with nurse leaders (including Patricia Flatley Brennan, Barbara Stilwell, and Elizabeth Madigan), followed by a UM nursing faculty-guided discussion about the role of nurses in leadership and networking session. Evaluation includes a Qualtrics survey administered at the end of the program, as well as 6-month and 1-year follow-up surveys. 

XVII Pan American Nursing Research Colloquium: The University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies is hosting the Biennial conference for nurse leaders, researchers and health professionals from Latin America and around the globe. The conference will be held in Miami, FL on November 11-13, 2020.

Additional Resources