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Nursing Now, the three-year global campaign aiming to improve health and lift the profile of nursing, has welcomed backing by the World Health Organization (WHO) to designate 2020 the ‘Year of the Nurse’.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and the Executive Board have endorsed the proposal but it will require approval by Member States at the World Health Assembly in May to come to fruition.

In a statement, Nursing Now said defining 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse” offered a valuable opportunity to highlight the nursing profession and how nurses improve health.

“Nurses are a key part of health teams across the world and this would be a fitting celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, one of nursing’s most prestigious leaders,” the statement said.

“There are 20 million nurses and midwives globally, who make up half of the professional health workforce. This is a wonderful opportunity to show people what an exciting career nursing is and highlight what nurses can do to help achieve health for all.”