When the World Health Assembly designated 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, they had no idea a pandemic would envelop the world the same year. The convergence of these events is a poignant reminder of nurses’ vital role in caring for patients, comforting families and protecting the health of the community.

Nurses are leading on front lines and behind the scenes in the fight against COVID-19 around the globe. They are shaping health policy to address capacity needs and innovating care delivery to provide optimal care — amidst far from optimal conditions.

As hospital and health system leaders, you know we cannot overstate the contributions of nurses. So in this Year of the Nurse, I urge you to join the AHA’s American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL) subsidiary in committing to advance the agenda set forth in the World Health Organization’s State of the World’s Nursing Report 2020.

In the midst of a global pandemic, this report is of even greater significance, namely its call “to invest in a massive acceleration of nursing education, create at least 6 million new nursing jobs by 2030 and strengthen nurse leadership.”

As we look past this crisis, it is incumbent on all health leaders to utilize evidence in this report to pursue solutions that meet today’s challenges as well as those of the future. Together, we will advance the health of patients and communities.

Thank you for your support and leadership in this unprecedented time.

Robyn Begley, DNP, RN, is AHA senior vice president and chief nursing officer and CEO of the American Organization for Nursing Leadership.


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