SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Nurse leaders from Central and Latin America and Spain gathered in Quito, Ecuador to identify key threats to health care delivery and to urge their governments to take action. The occasion was the inaugural International Council of Nurses (ICN) Latin American Workforce Forum.

Held in August, the forum provided a platform for an exchange of ideas and experiences related to the nursing workplace in the region, and a discussion of how to address today's challenges and those of the future. The forum is an evolving network of national nursing association (NNA) representatives in Latin America interested in work-life issues affecting nurses.

The Ecuador Nursing Association hosted the workforce forum, which was attended by ICN President Rosemary Bryant and ICN Chief Executive Officer David Benton.

Dr Bryant discussed the socio-economic issues facing the region and described the great variation in the nurse-patient ratio in Latin American countries. Workplace challenges are compounded by the global economic crisis and budget cuts to an already under-resourced nursing and health care system.

‘An issue of particular concern is violence in the workplace’, Dr Bryant stated. ‘According to the Pan American Health Organization, 1 out of 3 women are abused in the course of their life. Health workers are known to be particularly at risk for workplace violence, with almost one quarter of all violent incidents at work occurring in the health sector’.

In a public communiqué distributed to media and to Health Ministers, the Forum participants identified the following key threats:

  • • 
    lack of progress in reducing poverty and increasing access to quality health services in many countries,
  • • 
    unacceptable levels of violence within societies in general and against nurses in particular,
  • • 
    inadequate implementation of existing laws regulating the nursing profession,
  • • 
    the need to increase the number of licensed nurses so as to achieve better patient and population health outcomes.

The communiqué calls on governments as a matter of priority to:

  • • 
    introduce or enforce laws promoting zero tolerance for violence against nurses,
  • • 
    involve nurses in the strategic planning processes at regional, national and sub-national levels,
  • • 
    develop and finance a coherent career structure for nurses based on competence, linked to education programmes, and rewarded with a transparent and equitable pay and benefits system,
  • • 
    maximise contribution of licensed nurses to increase access and improve patient outcomes within positive practice environments.

inline image

With socio-economic welfare as one of its three pillars, ICN works for fair and equitable compensation and other work benefits for nurses. Many ICN member associations are actively engaged in collective bargaining and other workplace advocacy activities.

inline image

The Communiqué is available at: (http://www.icn.ch/images/stories/documents/news/Statements/Communique_WFF_Latin_America_2011.pdf). The nursing workforce profile data and the wage surveys are available on the ICN website at: http://www.icn.ch/pillarsprograms/socio-economic-welfare/.

Global nursing to gather at 2013 ICN Congress in Melbourne, Australia

  1. Top of page
  2. Global nursing to gather at 2013 ICN Congress in Melbourne, Australia
  3. Violence against health care personnel and facilities affects millions

Nurses from around the world will participate in the 25th ICN Quadrennial Congress, to be held from 18–23 May 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. Focused on the theme of Equity and Access to Health Care, the Congress will highlight the critical role nursing plays in leading the way to healthier nations.

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is organizing the Congress with the support of its member association, the Royal College of Nursing, Australia.

The Congress will offer access to and dissemination of nursing knowledge and leadership across specialities, cultures andcountries. The three ICN pillars – Professional Practice, Regulation and Socio-economic Welfare – will frame sessions and programmes. The scientific programme will feature international health and nursing care experts addressing topics of interest to nurses in all domains as well as planners, policy makers and other health disciplines.

  • image

[ DENOSA General Secretary Thembeka Gwagwa speaks at the launch of the Nursing Non-Communicable Disease project held in September in Boksburg, South Africa. Nurses in South Africa took action against noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) by launching a prevention and wellness project for nurses and communities, led by DENOSA. The project will increase awareness and education regarding NCDs, and include behavioral interventions. According to DENOSA, NCDs account for approximately one-third of premature mortality in both affluent and poor districts in South Africa. NCDs further stress already compromised health systems. Project initiators include the Democratic Nursing Organization of South Africa (DENOSA), and the International Council of Nurses (ICN) and Pfizer Inc (through its South Africa organization as well as External Medical Affairs). Local partnering and implementation collaboration is being provided by the National Ministry and Provincial Ministry of Health, North West University, John Hopkins University, and North West Community. ]

Participants will be able to choose from a wide range of plenary sessions, symposia, workshops, presentations and posters. During the Congress all ICN Networks will hold meetings.

Nursing leaders from around the world will identify the profession's future directions during the Council of National Representatives (CNR) meeting preceding the Congress.

Nurses and others are invited to share their ideas and expertise by submitting an abstract for a concurrent session, a symposium or a poster. Abstract submission guidelines and an online submission system will be available on the Congress website (http://www.icn2013.ch) from 15 March 2012. Regular updates on the Congress programme and related activities are available on the Congress website.

Violence against health care personnel and facilities affects millions

  1. Top of page
  2. Global nursing to gather at 2013 ICN Congress in Melbourne, Australia
  3. Violence against health care personnel and facilities affects millions

Violence that prevents the delivery of health care is one of today's most crucial yet unnoticed humanitarian issues, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). In conflict zones around the world, assaults on health care personnel, facilities and vehicles leave people without care when they need it most.

Wounded and sick people can be denied effective health care when hospitals are damaged by explosive weapons or forcibly entered by fighters, when ambulances are hijacked and when healthcare personnel are threatened, kidnapped, injured or killed. The effect of these assaults is compounded when healthcare staffs leave their posts, hospitals run out of supplies and vaccination campaigns come to a halt.

ICRC has documented violence against healthcare facilities and personnel, and against patients, since 2008 in 16 countries. The report, Healthcare in danger: making the case, is available free of charge in English, French and Arabic at: http://www.icrc.org. ICRC has launched a global initiative to raise awareness of violence affecting health care delivery.

  • image

[ A former Executive Director of the International Council of Nurses (ICN), Adele Herwitz RN, died in September 2011 at the age of 92 in the USA. She served as ICN Executive Director from 1970 to 1977. ]

‘The International Council of Nurses, on behalf of the 13 million nurses working worldwide, commends and supports the ICRC in its effort to create a strong community of concern to safeguard the delivery of effective and impartial health care in armed conflict and other situations of violence’, stated Rosemary Bryant, ICN President. ‘Violations of international law protecting health workers are becoming increasingly common. It is not for nurses or doctors to decide who to treat, but rather it is our duty to offer services to all those in need. Protecting health workers so they can do their job is of foundational importance. We look forward to collaborating with the ICRC and others to improve the security and delivery of health care in situations of armed conflict’.

For additional news about nursing and health policy and issues worldwide, please visit http://www.icn.ch, the website of the International Council of Nurses (ICN). The user-friendly website, an essential global resource for nurses, provides access to ICN and the rich array of nursing networks, knowledge, publications, programmes and projects it offers. The home page contains links to the Florence Nightingale International Foundation (FNIF), the International Centre for Human Resources in Nursing (ICHRN), the International Centre on Nurse Migration (ICNM) and the International Nursing Review.