Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH) is faced by manifold challenges witnessed globally: aging population, a rise in non-communicable
diseases, noticeable increase in mental health problems, severe pollution, increased inequality and others. These trends, combined with others such as shifting care from hospitals towards communities and homes; greater emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention; and greater involvement of patients in the improvement of health outcomes, have led to a need for adequately skilled health workforce, notably nurses.

Well-educated and competent nurses, constituting the vast majority of the health workforce in BIH (estimated at 20,000) and being at the heart of the patient-centered care, can contribute significantly to achieving the high quality of life for individuals and communities. Their role is instrumental in promoting healthy behaviors, preventing diseases, providing curative services and long term care for those in need. This was recognized by the health authorities in BIH who have committed themselves to
strengthening nursing to improve the effectiveness of the BIH health care system and ultimately the health outcomes of its population.

The Strengthening Nursing in BiH Project (ProSes) is therefore designed to assist the entity ministries of health and education as key stakeholders, and other relevant authorities and institutions to achieve this goal. ‘Vision 2020 for Nursing in BiH’ was developed to map the road for the nursing profession to be able to respond to the challenges of today and achieve the strength and status it requires and deserves.

The project aims to contribute to the improvement of health outcomes in BIH by enhancing the quality and the
accessibility of nursing services, in particular for vulnerable and socially excluded population groups.

The project is funded and supported by the Swiss Government. The mandate for the implementation of the project has been awarded to the Consortium of Fami Foundation and the University Hospitals Geneva (HUG) upon winning an international tender.

The project intervenes in the whole of BIH and proposes a long-term intervention. The first phase that lasted from 1 October 2012 to 30 November 2017 is followed by another, four-year phase that will last until 30 November 2021.

The project takes on an implementing and facilitating role, supporting the participation of a wide range of stakeholders that include nurses, other health professionals, decision-makers and beneficiaries during the planning process and implementation.

At the strategic level, the project is steered by the project Steering Committee consisted of representatives of stakeholders (the donor, the FBiH Ministry of Health, RS Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, RS Ministry of Education and Culture, FBiH Ministry of Education and Science, BiH Ministry of Civil Affairs, Department of Health and and Department of Education of District Brcko.