Summary of Nurses: A Voice to Lead: A Vision for Future Healthcare

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Nurses: A Voice to Lead: A Vision for Future Healthcare summary

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The COVID-19 pandemic is ushering in transformations in the nursing profession and offering an opportunity for broad changes in health care. While the crisis response has placed massive strain on nurses, it also has prompted a new appreciation for nurses’ capabilities and potential contributions. In a comprehensive white paper, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) reports on the pandemic’s impact on nurses and outlines a vision for more accessible, equitable and sustainable health care systems, where nurses play a leadership role. ICN represents 130 national nurses’ associations and some 27 million nurses around the world.

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The International Council of Nurses, a federation of more than 130 national nurses associations, works to ensure quality nursing care for all and sound health policies globally.


Nurses bring high levels of education and skill to their important – but often undervalued – roles.

Society has often failed to appreciate nurses’ educational level, skills and contributions. Nurses often find themselves undervalued – frequently disregarded and considered inferior to physicians. But just as the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted shortcomings in health care systems around the world and has offered lessons about how countries could improve health care and prepare for similar crises in the future, it has also brought attention to the role of nurses.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses have served on health care’s front lines and have seen their roles expand. The crisis has raised awareness of nurses’ skills and contributions and of the challenges they face. When society offers nurses respect and support, nurses will be better able to work for the health of individuals and communities.

In the International Council of Nurses’ vision for health care, all members of society partner to work toward health.

Crises like the COVID-19 pandemic have often prompted changes in health care delivery. The pandemic has shone a light on inequities in existing...

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