2020 Year of the Nurse
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has selected 2020 as the first Global Year of the Nurse and Midwife. 2020 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, whom most attribute as the founder of modern nursing. The timing could be considered ominous as the world battles with the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
In many places around the world, nurses can be the first and only point of care in their communities. In a correspondence to the President of the Chinese Nursing Association (CNA), The President of the International Council of Nurses (ICN), Annette Kennedy (2020), wrote,
Please convey my admiration and solidarity to all the nurses in the region who are continuing to work in such difficult circumstances. ‘Providing nursing care to people with such a severe infection carries risks, and I hope your colleagues will stay safe and well while they carry out their duties so selflessly. Assisting individuals and families to deal with this situation is an essential and critically valuable service provided by nurses. I commend you all.
One has to admire the selfless act and solidarity shown by nurses and all healthcare workers during these challenging times. Called heroes, angels on earth or just nurse, the verses popularised by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1857 poem “Santa Filomena” resonates.
Lo! in that house of misery
A lady with a lamp I see
Pass through the glimmering gloom,
And flit from room to room.
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ICN. 2020. ICN sends message of support to nurses in China and elsewhere who are tackling Coronavirus.