Celebration of International Nurses Day 2020

International Nurses Day was special this year. The importance and the need to invest in the nursing profession is clearer than ever before, not only in BIH but in the whole world. The Strengthening Nursing in Bosnia and Herzegovina Project congratulated and sent out the following message to nurses: „Once this is all over, we will remember that you were there for us all“.

The celebration of the International Day of Nurses themed „Nurses – A Voice to Lead: Nursing the World to Health“ is special for two reasons. It is celebrated in the year designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, during which the importance of nurses during COVID-19 pandemic has become more obvious than ever before.

Nursing is the major occupational group in the health sector, accounting for almost 60% of the healthcare workforce. There is almost 30 million of nurses in the world, and around 20’000 in BIH. They play crucial role in health promotion, disease prevention, and in the provision of primary, specialized and palliative care. They are closest to the patient and very often their first contact in the health sector. Competent, qualified and recognized nurses are the best partners to preserve, restore and maintain our health. Since the outset of coronavirus pandemic, nurses in BIH and around the globe have been doing incredible work. They have shown courage, compassion and care, working overtime and risking their own lives.

The Strengthening Nursing in Bosnia and Herzegovina (ProSes) Project congratulated and expressed gratitude and support to nurses with the message: „Once this is all over, we will remember that you were there for us all“. The message was displayed on LED screens of shopping malls and advertising displays in Banjaluka, Bijeljina, Brcko, Tuzla, Mostar, Zenica, Posusje, Istocno Sarajevo and Sarajevo, and projected on facades of the General Hospital in Sarajevo and Banski Dvor in Banjaluka.

To be able to respond to emergencies such as this, but also to the growing population needs, continuous investment in nursing is required. That implies improvement of the status and working conditions, better education, new nursing jobs, stronger nursing organisations and leaders and their participation in health policy-making. Even though it will require additional financial
resources, the returns will be in the improved health outcomes and stronger economies. If it had not been clear by now that the nursing profession should be acknowledged and additionally supported, COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly proved it.