International Nurses Day 2020

I am delighted to announce that we can confirm Ann Kurth, Dean of Nursing at Yale will be hosting our webinar on 12 May for the International Day of the Nurse in conjunction with Universitas 21. Her chosen topic, “Nursing in the new era of infection and communicable diseases 2020 and beyond” couldn’t be any more relevant in the context of the issues we are facing.

Ann is an epidemiologist whose work focuses on global health system strengthening, especially in response to climate change. I’m not an infectious diseases specialist, but I have really enjoyed reading around this topic, which is so relevant today.

It’s important to consider the emergence of new diseases and how they are situated in environmental factors; the degradation of the environment, industrialisation, higher population density and all of the factors that have contributed to these mutations. With highly mobile populations, it’s the perfect storm for the development and transmission of these new diseases. What nurses are doing in terms of population level health; prevention, surveillance, management and care of people during this critical time completely reframes a nurse’s scope of practice.

The Year of the Nurse marks 200 years since birth of Florence Nightingale, who was the ultimate public health professional. She was an epidemiologist of her time, using statistics to demonstrate certain aspects with mortality. She found that infections killed more people than the initial injuries sustained from war. This clip from Johnson & Johnson frames the contribution of the nurse in society and how it responds to meet the changing needs of society. The role of the nurse has never been more important.

-Marie Gerdtz, Head of the Department of Nursing