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The 2010 International Year of the Nurse: 21st century nightingales and global health.

"We must create a public opinion, which must drive the government instead of the government having to drive us.... an enlightened public opinion, wise in principle, wise in detail."

--Florence Nightingale, 1892

JANUARY 1, 2010 MARKED 100 years since the death of Florence Nightingale (18201910), the philosophical founder of modern nursing. Nightingale's work is clearly an epic example of advocacy and grassroots-to-global nursing. Actively engaged in one geographic area, she simultaneously shaped worldwide public opinion about health and healthy environments. While gathering and analyzing data from other areas of world conflict, she always envisioned what a healthy world might be.

To honor Nightingale's legacy, the 2010 International Year of the Nurse (see was launched as a sustained public awareness initiative to actively involve the world's nurses--estimated to be more than 15 million--in a celebration of commitment to promoting health in their communities, locally and worldwide. The 2010 International Year of the Nurse (2010 IYNurse) is a collaborative, grassroots global initiative honoring nurses' voices, values, and wisdom to act as catalysts for achieving a healthy world. The 2010 IYN Founders are the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International; the Nightingale Initiative for Global Health; and the Florence Nightingale Museum, London. Twelve additional nursing leaders form a 2010 IYNurse International Advisory Board establishing this project on all six continents.

The 2010 IYNurse seeks to recognize the contributions of nurses globally and to engage nurses in the promotion of world health, including the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Established in 2000, the eight Millennium Development Goals address pressing needs still widespread across the world. Three of these goals--concerning child mortality, maternal health and HIV, AIDS, TB, malaria, and other diseases--relate to health and to nurses. The other goals-addressing poverty, hunger, education, literacy, women's empowerment, environmental sustainability, and the strengthening of global partnerships--are all factors influencing health. Targets were set for each goal to be achieved by 2015. Yet, today, many of these targets are far from being met. In particular, Goal #5: Reducing the worldwide 500,000 annual death toll of women in childbirth; and Goal #4: The global reality of infants thus at risk, are still seriously behind their targets.

2010 IYNurse Events

The 2010 IYNurse initiative represents a year-long series of events to recognize the contributions of nurses globally and to showcase their unique contributions to the achievement of health and well-being for all people. One such event was the 2010 International Year of the Nurse Global Commemorative Service at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, Sunday, April 25, 2010. Another event is Jean Watson and the Watson Caring Science Institute's Million Nurse Global Caring Field Project to connect with a million nurses (or more) around the globe (see http://www.millionnurseproject. org). Nurses from all nations are also invited to establish 2010 IYNurse events in their own regions and to post them on the 2010 IYNurse Events Calendar at In addition, a 2010 IYNurse Brochure and Media Toolkits are available on the Web site for download for use by nurses worldwide.

Nursing organizations and associations worldwide are invited to become a Friend of 2010 IYNurse. To do so, include the 2010IYNurse logo and URL as a link on your organization/association Web site and help promote 2010 IYNurse activities in your region. To learn more about becoming a Friend of 2010 IYNurse, please contact Patricia E. Thompson at patricia@stti.iupui. edu or call (888) 634-7575.


We invite all nurses to submit photos, stories, poems, and special tributes to the 2010 IYN Web site, sharing how nurses achieve and advocate for all eight U.N. MDGs and for the health of all people.

In our role as 21st century Nightingales and advocates, our collective work is crucial to the future of nursing and a healthy world. We invite you to sign the Nightingale Declaration at www. To have a healthy world we must have healthy people and healthy environments.

Together, we are collectively addressing human health of individuals, communities, environments, and the world as our first priority. We are educated and prepared physically, emotionally, socially, mentally, and spiritually to effectively accomplish the U.N. MDGS with other organizations. We join with you as we recognize the 2010 International Year of the Nurse and celebrate global nurses collectively who serve humanity to create a healthy world and carry forward for now and years to come Nightingale's vision.

"In the future which I shall not see, for I am old, may a better way be opened! May the methods by which every infant, every human being will have the best chance at health--the methods by which every sick person will have the best chance at recovery--be learned and practiced.... Health is not only to be well, but to use well every power we have."

--Florence Nightingale, 1893

DEVA-MARIE BECK, PhD, RN, is Co-Director, Nightingale Initiative for Global Health International, Arlington, VA.

BARBARA M. DOSSEY,, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, FAAN, is Co-Director, Nightingale Initiative for Global Health International, Arlington, VA; and Director, Holistic Nursing Consultants, Santa Fe, NM.

CYNDA H. RUSHTON, PhD, RN, FAAN, is Co-Director, Nightingale Initiative for Global Health International, Arlington, VA; and Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD.

NOTE: The NIGH global nursing project, the Nightingale Declaration Campaign, has been developed, with a growing team of collaborators around the world, to strengthen individual commitments toward achieving a healthy world as a priority objective for action by ordinary citizens, by civil society organizations, and by all governments, local and national.
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Title Annotation:Professional Issues
Author:Beck, Deva-Marie; Dossey, Barbara M.; Rushton, Cynda H.
Publication:Nursing Economics
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2010
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