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Major nursing conference will 'celebrate Florence Nightingale's legacy'

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Nurses and midwives will be given the opportunity to help transform global health and care, as part of an international conference to be held next year to coincide with the bicentenary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, it has been announced.

The Florence Nightingale Foundation has today officially launched its Nightingale 2020 conference, which has been described by the charity as a “once in a generation” opportunity to put nurses and midwives at the centre of national and global health policy.

“We will use Florence Nightingale’s example to challenge outdated practices”

Yvonne Moores

The foundation’s event, which is set to take place in October next year, will be among the initiatives to mark the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth next year.

The World Health Organization has also provisionally designated the whole of 2020 as the “year of the nurse and midwife”, in honour of the anniversary.

The nursing charity said its conference would specifically commemorate the legacy of Florence Nightingale, who is famed as the founder of modern nursing. 

It would also be a chance to celebrate all that the nursing profession does to improve health around the world, it noted.

Chair of the Florence Nightingale Foundation, Dame Yvonne Moores, said: “Nurses make up the largest healthcare workforce in the world and have valuable experience and insight that should be used to transform the way we deliver health and care in the future.

“We will use Florence Nightingale’s example to challenge outdated practices and let the voice of nurses be heard to drive positive change in international health policy,” she added.

During the event, Nursing Now, a global initiative to raise the profile of nursing, will present learning and insights from its international campaign.

“This event will be an exciting opportunity to look forward to the next generation of nursing”

Barbara Stillwell

Barbara Stillwell, executive director of Nursing Now, said: “Nightingale2020 will be a wonderful celebration of the legacy of Florence Nightingale who was an influential and disruptive leader and the first woman member of the Royal Society of Statisticians, and this event will be an exciting opportunity to look forward to the next generation of nursing.”

The conference is due to take place over 26-28 October 2020 in the ExCel Centre in London and will cover four broad themes: impact, world health, professionalism, and health tech.

It will also include an ‘innovation hub’ which will host more than 150 workshops, presentations and practical demonstrations.

A scientific committee will open for papers and submissions on 1 September 2019 and will be chaired by Professor Ian Norman, executive dean of the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery at King’s College London.

Nightingale 2020 was officially launched today during the annual Florence Nightingale service, which took place today at Westminster Abbey.

This year’s service was held to commemorate the life of Florence Nightingale and also marked the centenary of the funeral of First World War nurse Edith Cavell.

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