“Nursing Now” Workshop and Launch Participants.

CHS hosts Launch of Nursing Now Campaign

UKZN’s College of Health Sciences Discipline of Nursing hosted the Durban Launch of the International “Nursing Now” campaign in collaboration with the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Forming part of the launch was the UKZN/ICN research workshop for TB Nurses in Africa.

The Nursing Now campaign aims to raise the status and profile of nursing across the globe. Run in collaboration with ICN and the World Health Organization, Nursing Now seeks to empower nurses to take their place at the heart of tackling 21st Century health challenges.

The campaign also aims to improve perceptions about nurses, enhance their influence and maximise their contributions towards ensuring that everyone everywhere has access to healthcare.

‘This is a great honour for Nursing and UKZN and really showcases our work internationally as a WHO collaborating centre,’ said Nursing Discipline Academic Leader Professor Gugu Mchunu.

Mchunu also applauded this historic event for helping nurses from different countries stand together as one, taking a stand to advance the nursing agenda of Universal Health Coverage.

‘Nurses’ contributions towards people’s health cannot go by unnoticed, since we know that nurses form the backbone of the healthcare sector. This day marks a very important day in the lives of nurses globally,’ she said.

Launching the project, ICN Vice-President Thembeka Gwagwa said her organisation was very excited about the research workshop, ‘As we are launching the Nursing Now campaign, we are happy that the workshop is part of the international launch.’

The campaign was also launched globally with events in London, Jordan, North Carolina and Geneva, live-streamed on the Nursing Now website and its Facebook page, with Kate Middleton the Duchess of Cambridge as its patron.

‘Nursing Now will run to the end of 2020 – the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth and a year when nurses will be celebrated worldwide,’ said Gwagwa.

The launch coincided with a weeklong nursing research workshop for TB nurses from Ethiopia, Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia, Uganda, Lesotho and South Africa. The ICN TB/MDR-TB Project Research Workshop, initiated by Dr Carrie Tudor, TB Project Director ICN, aims to develop research skills in these clinical nurses.

School of Nursing and Public Health Acting Dean and Head of School, Dr Moshabela commended the Discipline, ‘We are very excited to participate in this event, which we view as capacity development for our nurses and nurse leaders.’

The collaboration came about through one of the Senior Academics in the Discipline, Professor Petra Brysiewicz who was also instrumental in co-ordinating and running the research workshop for clinical nurses working in the area of TB in Africa – as part of the ICN TB/MDR-TB Project workshop which aimed to build the research capacity of nurses in the seven ICN Wellness Centre countries.

The weeklong workshop provided 17 nurses with fundamental research skills and plans to assist them to go back home and continue with a small clinical research project.

The ICN TB/MDR-TB Project is supported by a United Way Worldwide grant made possible by the generosity of the Lilly Foundation on behalf of the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership.

Words: Nombuso Dlamini