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Nursing Now ambassador Emilia Clarke. Photo: Gage Skidmore

Nursing Now: raising the profile of nurses globally and at home

Nurses are coming together to let world leaders know that universal health coverage needs nurses working their full scope.

The message is key to the Nursing Now campaign, spearheaded in Australia by the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) and Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF).

Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward, chief executive of ACN, said the initiative will “empower nurses to take their place at the heart of tackling 21st Century health challenges”.

“The contribution nurses do and can make to healthcare has resulted in the campaign gaining high-profile supporters, including the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.

Middleton helped launch the global campaign early last year. Later in the year, Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke was announced as a Nursing Now ambassador.

The campaign aims to raise the profile and status of nurses and help maximise the contributions they make to ensuring healthcare access for all.

“Compared to many other nations, Australia is fortunate in terms of universal health coverage through our system of Medicare,” Ward said. “However, access to the health system remains unequal.

“There are still unacceptable disparities in health outcomes for those on a low income, people for whom English is not a first language, those living in rural and remote areas, and most particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and the aged care tsunami is bearing down on us.”

Lord Nigel Crisp, co-chair of Nursing Now and of the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health, said Australia’s efforts will make an invaluable contribution to a growing global campaign. “We are united in our efforts to improve health globally by raising the status and profile of nursing and midwifery,” Crisp said.

Nursing Now will run until the end of 2020, the bicentenary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

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