2020: the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that 2020 is the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, noting that

Nurses and midwives play a vital role in providing health services. These are the people who devote their lives to caring for mothers and children; giving lifesaving immunizations and health advice; looking after older people and generally meeting everyday essential health needs. They are often, the first and only point of care in their communities. The world needs 9 million more nurses and midwives if it is to achieve universal health coverage by 2030.

From the World Health Organization Year of the Nurse and the Midwife website.

We here at RadicalNurses are thrilled that the WHO and their committed partners such as the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), International Council of Nurses (ICN), Nursing Now and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) recognize the substantive and instrumental contributions of the disciplines of nursing and midwifery world-wide.

Excited as we are about this campaign – which coincides with Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday – we are also mindful, aware of the limitations of our profession as it is currently formulated. Rather than unreflexively reinscribing the same old problematic stereotypes of nursing and midwifery, we hope to use this platform to advance antiracist, feminist, sex-positive, anticapistalist, emancipatory approaches to nursing and midwifery in the coming year (and really forever after).

We are preparing to bring you a series this year on nurses and midwives engaged in activism around issues central to their practice and conceptualization of our disciplines. We are excited about what this year holds and look forward to hearing from you about your ideas too. Up to good trouble? Got an idea? Want to write about your bold action? Give us a shout – jdillardwright@gmail.com or RadicalNursesCollective@gmail.com. We love it and we want to hear about it.

We further intend to engage actively on social media as this year unfolds. The WHO has identified several hashtags to support their efforts this year, including #SupportNursesAndMidwives, #Nurses2020, and #midwives2020. We will use our own hastags as well: #RadicalNursesUnite, #NursingISpolitical, #MoreHealthcareNotLess and others. Join the conversation by following us at @jdillardwright, @radicalnurses, and @radical_nurses and by using and following these hashtags.

Grow toward the light.

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