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An international nursing expert has been given the task of securing the legacy of a major campaign to increase the profile and status of nursing around the globe.
The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has appointed Susan Williams to oversee the transition and integration of the Nursing Now campaign into the ICN’s mainstream work.
“The Nursing Now campaign has generated huge interest in the profession and beyond”
Nursing Now, run in collaboration between the ICN and the World Health Organization, was set up in 2018 as a three-year campaign to improve health by raising the profile and status of nursing.
The campaign, which the ICN described as having been “highly successful”, formerly finishes at the end of 2020, culminating also with the end of the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife.
Among its aims are to give nurses a more prominent voice in policy-making, encourage greater investment in the nursing workforce, recruit more nurses into leadership positions, conduct research that helps determine where nurses can have the greatest impact, and share best practices.
Nursing Now is co-chaired by Lord Nigel Crisp, co-chair of the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health, and Professor Sheila Tlou, co-chair of the Global HIV Prevention Coalition.
Ms Williams previously worked for the Royal College of Nursing for 25 years and was most recently its senior international manager. Prior to that, she was a senior international advisor at the college.
She is a qualified teacher who speaks German, French and Turkish, and has previously worked in local government and with numerous international organisations.
Ms Williams, who will work part-time on a one-year contract for the ICN, said she was excited to be working with the international nursing community again.
“This is a pivotal time for nursing, not only because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but also because 2020 is the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife,” she said.
“The Nursing Now campaign has generated huge interest in the profession and beyond, and we want to ensure that we capture all of its good work and the networks that have been created, so that in the long term, nursing will get the recognition, reward and development it so deserves.”
ICN chief executive Howard Catton said: “Nursing Now has been a phenomenally successful campaign, which has raised the profile of nursing at the grassroots level all over the world, and we are committed to ensuring its legacy lives long at ICN.
“I am delighted that Susan will be joining us to become the focal point for bringing much of Nursing Now’s work within ICN,” said Mr Catton.
He added: “Susan has a long and proven track record of enabling and encouraging international nursing organisations to work together seamlessly and productively, and I am sure her commitment and dedication to nursing will prove to be a great asset to ICN as we move forward from this tumultuous year into whatever the future will bring.”