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Saturday, May 12, 2012

[HIFA2015] International Nurses Day, May 12 "Closing the gap: From evidence to action"

Dear Colleagues / collaborators,

Nurses worldwide under the umbrella of the International Council of Nurses celebrates the International Nurses Day yearly on May 12. This is to pay tribute to the millions of men and women who put their lives to the service of humanity, in accordance with convention 149 of the ILO (Nursing Personnel Convention) passed in 1997. This celebration however has not yet gained the recognition it should, for how can one explain the fact that this day may even go by unnoticed in some countries, or are we therefore saying it is not worth it and why is this day not even a public holiday like for other professional groups.

I find it hard to believe that until now on this forum no one could think of it, when the celebration is due in barely 36 hours. I understand the delicate nature of health jobs, but this should not be an excuse for not paying tribute where is it due. I know this day should be meant for reflection among nurses and seeking for ways to improve nursing services. This will not happen in isolation, for nurses need the political will and inter sectoral collaboration to do their job effectively, shape a better future for the next generation of nurses consonant with current stakes.

This year, nurses are deliberating on the theme 'closing the gap: From evidence to action'. This topic is quite elaborate and needs lots of considerations both within and without the influence of nurses. Understanding evidence-based practice, seeking for sources of evidence, making the appropriate case for change and moving from evidence to action is the cycle in which nurses hope to reflect as they celebrate this year. Nurses will need new skills and expertise to deal with their clients in today's changing and challenging health environment. This is why this forum is of vital importance and I will continue to thank the team behind it. Nursing training programs may be subject to revision, expanding the legal and professional limits of practice while maintaining strict regulatory sanctions. This increased autonomy will enable nurses take up new functions within the confines of their practice and help in meeting the health needs of our population and not acting as physician substitutes or mini-doctors.

Therefore, I wish all nurses a happy celebration, calling on them to use the very rich celebration kit from the ICN, easily downloadable from their website, www.icn.ch, and share among themselves in all settings where nurses live and work. It is our day and we should be happy and honoured for the services we offer to the six billion people on earth, since nurses form the bulk of health care providers and work in remote areas in all countries.

In Cameroon, thousands of nurses from all the ten regions, shall be meeting in the economic capital Douala between June 14 to 16, to brainstorm on the activities. This event is usually opened by the Minister of Public health or his representative, various scientific presentations, round table conferences and other important activities grace the event and concluded by a closing ceremony during which important decisions taken are communicated to participants.

Tita Pale Isa Ndognjem, BSc, RN
Public Relation officer, Cameroon Nurses Association
2012 Fellow, Commonwealth Nurses Federation
paleisa AT yahoo.com 

Additional link:

C149 Nursing Personnel Convention, 1977
Convention concerning Employment and Conditions of Work and Life of Nursing Personnel (Note: Date of coming into force: 11:07:1979.) 
My source: HIFA2015

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