The Duchess of Cambridge is to help launch an international campaign later this month, which is aiming to boost the status and profile of the nursing profession across the world.
She is expected to deliver a speech at the start of the Nursing Now campaign, which says it wants to empower “nurses to take their place at the heart of tackling 21st Century health challenges”.
“The Duchess of Cambridge will officially launch Nursing Now, a campaign to raise the profile and status of nursing worldwide”
The three-year campaign will be launched on 27 February, with events taking place in Geneva and London as well as elsewhere around the globe, including Chapel Hill in the US and Kampala in Uganda.
Kensington Palace tweeted last week that the duchess would visit St Thomas’ Hospital “to officially launch @NursingNow2020, a campaign to raise the profile and status of nursing worldwide”.
In a statement, the Nursing Now website added: “We are delighted that HRH The Duchess of Cambridge will be joining us at our launch in London.”
Run in collaboration with International Council of Nurses and the World Health Organization, the campaign will run to the end of 2020 – coinciding with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.
Those behind the campaign aim to improve perceptions of nurses, enhance their influence and maximise their contributions to ensuring that everyone everywhere has access to health and healthcare.
The initiative was originally set up by the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health, with a steering group chaired by cross-bench peer and former NHS chief executive Lord Nigel Crisp.
It was sparked by a report from the group that warned nurses were undervalued and under-utilised, because they were often unable to practise in a way that made full use of their training.
As previously reported by Nursing Times, the Nursing Now steering group subsequently became a programme of the charity the Burdett Trust for Nursing in the autumn.
The launch events in Europe will see a “global champions” announced – potentially including the duchess who has a family link to nursing.
Her great-grandmother, Olive Middleton, worked as a nurse during the First World War, caring for wounded servicemen after the Leeds estate belonging to a cousin was turned into a hospital.
The two launch events will also be attended by “high-level decision makers” and hear from “nurses working day to day with patients to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing nursing globally”.
Meanwhile, campaign organisers across Africa and Asia are championing nursing through activities to promote the profession and celebrate the contribution of nurses to improving health.
The launch events in London and Geneva will be livestreamed from the Nursing Now website and Facebook page from 13:00-15:00 GMT.