Nursing Now: Now or Never

Section: Editorial

How to quote

Pérez Raya F. Nursing Now: ahora o nunca. Metas Enferm mar 2020; 23(2):3-4. Doi: 10.35667/MetasEnf.2019.23.1003081546


Florentino Pérez Raya


Presidente del Consejo General de Enfermería de España

Versión en Español


Nursing Now: ahora o nunca

We have reached the year 2020, which has been designated the “International Year of the Nurse and Midwife” by the World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO). This decision arises out of a world movement called Nursing Now (“Enfermería Ahora”), initiated by the International Council of Nurses (ICN), an organization which represents 20 million nurses from all over the world, and which includes the Spanish General Council of Nursing. There is a double objective in Nursing Now: to multiply the visibility of the task conducted by nurses in all our settings of practice, and to promote the access of our profession to high management positions where the most relevant decisions are made with impact on the health of citizens.

During the past months, we have been working hard in Spain in order to make the most of this opportunity, and achieve a real revolution during our year. All professionals have been involved to this aim: Nursing Councils, universities (including professors and students), scientific societies, Nursing journals (where Metas isme a reference), trade unions and the media.

So far we have being able to establish the position of Chief Nursing Care Officer in Asturias, Castile-La Mancha, Navarra and La Rioja, as well as that already existing in the Balearic Islands. This position is targeted to a nurse who will provide her/his vision, training and experience in order to increase the quality of care, patient safety, and an even higher humanization of healthcare. To be fair, it must be clarified that there is also a Chief Nursing Care Officerin Andalusia, but this does not count for us because the Regional Minister of Health, in a display of inconsistency in our opinion, appointed a social educator for this position, whom we respect both personally and professionally. However, only nurses can take the responsibility of designing the different policies of care and organizing the humanization of the Health System; based on their training, they can establish plans of care with guaranteed success. The Community of Madrid is a different case: they have omitted this position in their organization structure, regardless of adhering to the objectives of Nursing Now.

Despite these major achievements, there is still a lot of work to do in this area. Spain owes a debt to the Nursing profession for the past decades. Our profession shows an unprecedented professional and scientific growth, as well as in terms of patient care; and however, our conditions regarding work, competencies and recognition are light years away from finding an answer. While in Spain our politicians and managers have not quite perceived that the National Health System is unfeasible if we are not able to make the most of nursing potential, the WHO has taken one step forward by declaring that 2020 is our international year.

Nevertheless, taking into account the social and demographical reality in Spain, and whether our politicians want it or not, there is only one possible future, and it is nursing. If we want to be able to provide the healthcare required by an increasingly ageing population, faced with one or multiple chronic conditions, polymedicated, and with a higher incidence of associated dependencies, but without losing the current levels of quality and efficacy, this can only be achieved by making the most of the potential in terms of patient care, teaching, management and research of the only profession expert in care: Nursing.

This is the start of the International Year of Nurses, and we will set in motion a plan of actions that will provide us with the highest visibility, including actions in the Street, a nursing bus which will travel through Spain, as well as a campaign for visibility in the media, healthcare education programs, nurse and journalist awards, a short movie contest… and many more initiatives.

We will also develop a calendar of political actions, initiating contacts with the new Ministries of Healthcare and Labour, the Regional Ministries, and all the relevant public administrations, in order to review the great subjects of the profession and the Healthcare as a whole, such as the defense of its universal nature, the acknowledgement of our professional category as graduates and specialists on an equal footing with the rest of graduates, the improvement in professional ratios and an increase in safety for patients and professionals, to eradicate the indignity, almost slavery, of temporal contracts, and to improve the working conditions of all professionals, of course including their salaries. Finally, we will do our outmost to achieve the creation of the position of Chief Nursing Care Officer in all Autonomic Communities, as well as in the Ministry of Health.

So our time has come, Nursing now or never.