2020 is the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife

Marsha Lewis.

Published January 17, 2020

Greetings from the University at Buffalo School of Nursing!

2020 is an important year for our profession. With the World Health Organization declaring 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, the significance of nurses and midwives in the health equity and economic stability of the world is in the spotlight.

Strengthening our profession means strengthening our communities and the state of health and health care, not just at the local and national level, but on a global scale. Nurses serve patients from the beginning of life to the end, at the bedside and in the community as clinicians, and beyond the bedside as educators, leaders, and researchers. Nurses play a vital role in disease prevention and health promotion and are an integral part of interprofessional care teams.

Nurses and midwives make up more than half of the global health workforce, and nurses are often the first and only point of contact for health care in many communities. As the health care landscape continues to evolve in the midst of a growing nursing shortage, elevating the nursing profession is more important than ever before. Protecting nurses, upholding high quality educational standards, and empowering nurses to practice to the full extent of their education and training will undoubtedly contribute to optimal patient outcomes and will help address burgeoning health needs and inequity in underserved areas.

Together, we strive to improve access to quality patient-centered care, and we are positioned and prepared to lead transformative changes in health care. We are proud to stand in solidarity with nurses and midwives across the globe to help build a healthier future for all.

-Marsha L. Lewis, PhD, RN, FAAN
Dean & Professor, University at Buffalo School of Nursing