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Safe Nurse Staffing Levels are Vital to Deliver Quality Patient Care -ICN Forum - News - Nurses Arena Forum

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Safe Nurse Staffing Levels are Vital to Deliver Quality Patient Care -ICN Forum by Idowu Olabode : October 14, 2016, 05:20:39 PM
Participants in the International Council of Nurses’ (ICN) 22nd annual International Workforce Forum (IWFF) called on all governments to do more to educate and retain nurses and achieve a greater level of self-sufficiency in the supply of nurses. The IWFF was held in Washington DC from 26 to 28 September.
Formed of ICN member associations representing frontline nurses from nine countries, the IWFF understands the huge challenges and pressures nurses work under on a daily basis and their commitment to deliver safe and high quality care. However, IWFF recognises that nurses are currently stretched, under resourced and feeling undervalued. These are all key issues which ICN is addressing through its workforce forums and other activities. The Forum identified that investment and support in nursing workforce is urgently needed not just for wellbeing of nurses but also for the health and safety of patients.
The Forum’s discussion focused around safe staffing and identified common themes, including the dilution of skill mix; the role of the registered nurses; the existing lack of value and recognition of the nursing role; the impact of immigration and emigration; understaffing in different sectors; and nursing in zones of conflict.
Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden and United States. In a communiqué released following the Forum, participants said, “We renew our call on nurse leaders, trade unions and professional organisations to campaign for the use of tools, systems and processes to achieve safe staffing levels, decent working conditions, and better, safer future for patients and the nurses who care for them. And, we add to this call the need for employers to engage positively in this dialogue.”
In the wake of the U.N. High-level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth report release, participants also welcomed the recommendations and emphasised the urgent need for a change in political mind-set reframing health as an investment and not a drain.
“Nursing associations are important partners in achieving this new mind-set,” said Dr Frances Hughes, ICN’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our members understand the reality of the workplace and support nurses’ need to deliver care. They are committed to working with ICN to ensure the implementation of the recommendations of the UN Commission.”
The challenges posed by an increasingly ageing population were also discussed, with age care sector showing consistently worse levels of staffing.
Recent and on-going events sparked concern for nurses working in conflict zones and disaster-stricken areas, where the health of the population hinges on the safety of a recurrently targeted workforce.
Hosted by the American Nurses Association (ANA), this year’s agenda was chaired by Cheryl Peterson, ANA’s Senior Director and Howard Catton, ICN’s Director, Nursing and Health Policy and featured interventions by guest speakers.
The ICN Workforce Forums are held annually and hosted by volunteer member NNAs. In addition to the international WFF, ICN holds an annual Asian WFF – which will be held in November 2016 in China; and a Latin American WFF which was last held in 2014 in Cuba. More information can be found on

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