“In God we trust, all others must bring data”. This is my take away from the Nurses Week. The week has come to an end and while I have been going to work I was lucky to engage in conversations and spaces that have nursing at their heart. Skimming through the report; State of World’s Nursing, I realized that we truly have a fundamental role in health systems. This report is quite comprehensive and I must say that I will read it for a couple more weeks. So far, I have gathered that we form 59% of health professionals. It is also interesting to know that improving nurses will contribute in achieving 5 out of the 17 SDGs. From this, it can be deduced that a change in nursing however small, is likely to have a significant impact on health system and the general well being of our populations. A majority of the recommendations from the report are for governments to improve education, employment and retention of nurses. However, as individuals we can also create spaces that encourage professionalism and mentorship amongst ourselves because after this year, there is nowhere else to go but up.
In addition I attended a series of Webinars through the week. The emphasis on research was universal through and through. To make ourselves heard, we must back our requests, advocacy and actions with evidence. Unfortunately, often, when we hear the word research we cower and hide in the shadows. This reaction is sensible because research requires resources in time and funds that many a times we lack. What most of us have are functional brains. It is time to develop curiosity and start asking questions as we go through our routine work. By allowing ourselves to understand the rationale behind the simplest of the nursing procedures, we will be training our minds to start thinking critically and analytically, forming the building blocks for research.
I wish all my fellow nurses a happy International Nurses Day and as we progress through the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, we need to continually remind ourselves of the value we possess. We must also base our actions on evidence and endeavor to contribute to clinical research. Many of us are still struggling to find our specialties, positions and voices and sometimes we want to give up all together, but when you feel like giving up, remind yourself of why you have kept going for so long in the first place.And also remember, “In God we trust, all others must bring data”.