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Blog July 19, 2021

The Year 2020 Honors and Celebrates Nurses for the Florence Nightingale Bicentennial

The year 2020 brings unprecedented focus to the global contributions of nurses through several major events and the launch of a new landmark study on the future of nursing -- all coinciding with the bicentenary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

“In this era of transformation for healthcare, nursing has never been more in the forefront, a fact that’s being recognized around the world this year in the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale,” said Cole Edmonson, DNP, RN, FACHE, NEA-BC, FAAN, FAONL, Chief Clinical Officer at AMN Healthcare. “Local, national, and global communities will be celebrating and working to strengthen the role of nursing in care delivery, leadership, public and population health, and nurse-led digital technology. This year’s celebrations are setting the stage for a decade when nurses will lead the way in responding to far-reaching changes in healthcare.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) designated 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife to honor the clinicians who devote their lives to the healthcare of people, and who are often the first point of care in their communities. The WHO is also focusing the year on the need to train millions of more nurses and midwives in this decade.

Nursing Now is a three-year global campaign by the International Council of Nurses and the WHO to raise the status and profile of nursing and empower nurses to take their place at the heart of tackling 21st-century health challenges. A coalition of more than 500 groups in 100 countries, Nursing Now groups focus on healthcare for everyone, research on nursing, nurse leadership development, and sharing effective practices. Nursing Now has launched the Nightingale Challenge, which asks every health employer around the world to provide leadership and development training for a group of young nurses and midwives during 2020.

The National Academy of Medicine has launched The Future of Nursing 2020-2030 consensus study that will chart a path for the nursing profession to help create a U.S. culture of health, reduce health disparities, and improve population health and well-being. The study will examine the role of nurses in addressing social determinants of health, achieving workforce diversity, building a culture of health and health equity, serving as change agents in the delivery of care, and creating a stronger evidence base for nursing practice in eliminating gaps in healthcare. This is an extension of a study on the future of nursing that began in 2010.

The Bicentennial of Florence Nightingale’s birth is celebrated this year with events throughout the world. The American Nurses Association is expanding National Nurses Week into National Nurses Month in May to expand opportunities to elevate and celebrate nursing. North American celebrations of Florence Nightingale’s Bicentennial will be held in Boston, Seattle, and Denver, along with events in Canada. An international conference, Nightingale2020, will be held in London on the impact of nursing on patients, the role of nursing in public and population health, nursing input into healthcare policy and delivery, and nurse-led digital technology.

More events will be announced as National Nurses Month in May nears. For more information, follow the official hashtags: #YON2020, #YearoftheNurse, and #americannurse2020.