World Nursing and Midwifery Organizations’ Global Strategy Summit Statement

2 November 2018

Collaborative, multi-group meeting convened in Geneva 11-12 October 2018

Representatives from the Consortium of Universities for Global Health, the Global Network of World Health Organization Collaborating Centres, International Confederation of Midwives, International Council of Nurses, Jhpiego, Nursing Now, the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Sigma), and the World Health Organization (WHO) gathered in Geneva for a Global Strategy Summit. Participants of the event spent two days in high-level collaboration discussing combined strengths, opportunities, and recommendations for collaboration that will lead to development of a cohesive strategy to leverage nurses and midwives to address global health issues.  

Summit participants identified common themes and discussed how to best position nurses and midwives to impact the world’s most pressing healthcare needs by reviewing each organization’s current initiatives. Activities were collectively grouped in the following six areas initially identified during Sigma’s global meetings for the Global Advisory Panel on the Future of Nursing & Midwifery (GAPFON): Leadership, Education, Policy/Regulation, Practice, Research, and Workforce.

“It is energizing to come together with global nursing and midwifery colleagues, acknowledge our common interest, and work together to improve healthcare,” said Sigma President Beth Baldwin Tigges, PhD, RN, PNP, BC. “The camaraderie and support among these world-renowned organizations provides great promise for our future.”

The Global Strategy Summit timing is notable. During the past year, the Nursing Now campaign has elevated the global importance and awareness of nursing.

WHO Chief Nursing Officer Elizabeth Iro said, “We must ensure that nurses, who make up the world’s largest group of healthcare providers, are recognized, supported, and empowered to address the common factors that impact global health.”

At the conclusion of the Global Strategy Summit the group affirmed the central role of nurses and midwives as the largest body of health care providers in addressing improved health and its impact on all the Sustainable Development Goals. The group also agreed that an investment in nursing and midwifery at the country level is critical to address the many challenges in global health, including Universal Health Coverage and improving Primary Health Care. The group noted that supporting this investment will require nurses and midwives to influence policy and assume increasing leadership roles, and they called for more evidence to support the value of the investment in nurses and midwives and their work. Finally, they agreed that fully functioning systems in each country are needed for educational accreditation, licensure, and regulation of practice and education.