The celebration of International Nurses Day took place at the India Habitat Centre in Delhi, with several dignitaries in attendance.
The esteemed guests included Asha Sharma, Executive Committee Member, and Chief Guest; V. Hekali Zhimomi, Additional Secretary at the Ministry of Family Welfare, Government of India; Deepika Khakha, Nursing Advisor at the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), Ministry of Family Welfare; Ai Tanimizu, Technical Officer for Nursing and Midwifery at the World Health Organization (WHO); Dr. T Dilip Kumar, President of the Indian Nursing Council (INC); Dr. Jogendra Sharma, Vice President of the INC; Lt Col (Dr) Sarvjeet Kaur; KS Bharti, Joint Secretary of the INC; and Jyoti B, Deputy Secretary of the INC.
The celebration was attended by representatives from the military nursing services, college principals, students, policymakers, and many others. As a token of appreciation, all participants were gifted a plant during the event.
Asha Sharma unveiled the theme “Our Nurses. Our Future” and provided an in-depth overview of the 2023 theme set by the International Council of Nurses. The theme emphasizes investing in nursing and respecting the rights of nurses to secure global health.
It serves as a day of global recognition for the hard work of nurses and focuses on building a brighter future for the nursing profession, ultimately improving global health outcomes.
In the context of India, nursing is a dynamic and growing profession with increasing patient numbers and the emergence of new and long-term illnesses. The value of nurses in preventive healthcare and disease management is continuously improving.
The demand for specialized and highly skilled nurses in tertiary care is rising in India. Asha Sharma stressed the importance of considering reports such as SOWN 2020, SOWMY 2021, and the 74th World Health Assembly in formulating strategic directions for nursing and midwifery.
The initiatives of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare include the initiation of the Nurse Practitioner program, the creation of new nursing colleges, task shifting and sharing among healthcare workers, upskilling and continuing education for nurses, and reforms in nursing and nursing education.
The Indian Nursing Council has also undertaken various initiatives such as curriculum revision, the development of nurse practitioner programs, and the launch of the Leadership for Change (LFC) program. The creation of a Nurse Practitioner post is under consideration by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
V. Hekali Zhimomis, Additional Secretary at the Ministry of Family Welfare (MoFW) in the Government of India, emphasized the importance of strengthening the nursing sector for a healthy nation. In India, nurses make up 47% of the health workforce, with 82% of them being female. The country has over 3 million registered nurses who shoulder the responsibility of caring for a population of 1.3 billion people.
This impressive statistic highlights the significant contribution and tremendous impact of the nursing workforce on public health and communities. Their hard work and dedication are instrumental in maintaining the well-being of the nation.
According to Ai Tanimizu, the Technical Officer for Nursing and Midwifery at the World Health Organization (WHO), there is a global projection of a need for approximately 10 million additional health workers by 2030.
The COVID-19 crisis has underscored the critical role of nurses and midwives in strengthening healthcare systems and attaining universal health coverage and health security. Their contribution is vital to building resilience within the healthcare system and ensuring access to quality healthcare for all.
Deepika Khakha, while speaking, emphasized the transformative power that nurses possess. She stated that nurses are like torchbearers, delivering quality care and upholding patient rights. The Government of India is highly committed and dedicated to investing in the nursing profession.
When discussing investments in nursing, it is crucial to provide opportunities for growth, learning, and career advancement. This can be achieved by supporting continuous education and creating a nurturing environment. The aim is to empower nurses to become lifelong scholars, learners, and agents of change.
Dr. Jogendra Sharma said that the days passed, eras went by, and today all of us who serve from the moment a child opens their eyes until they close them have been recognized by the government. Today, after 49 years, we find ourselves in a generation where nurses established themselves as professionals. Nurses are available for patients even in the absence of their families.
The blessings that emanate from serving to bring rewards to the families. When our children step forward in the future, we will feel that we have not only pursued a nursing career but also served the people.
Dr. T Dilip said when I was a student in a district of a remote place, even a school of nursing will celebrate International Nurses Day, this is the uniqueness of the day. Shared the nursing enthusiasm and passion of Lord Nigel Crisp, Chief Executive of the English NHS. Shared his past experience of the working conditions of the nurses and the challenges faced. The government of India is very keen to take care of nurses, obviously, there are issues and challenges in implementing things faster.
Way back in 2002, we started Nurse Practitioner in Midwifery program, now we have come to the stage of Nurse Practitioner in Critical Care. As an Indian Nursing Council, I never had an opportunity to seat with other regulators in the health ministry.
There was a first meeting with the honorable Health Minister in ‘Chintan Shivir’ where all the regulators were present in one platform. This is the first time in history I could. He shared the experience of the Chintan Shvir and exchanged thoughts regarding healthcare and nursing.
During the celebration, Dr. T Dilip, an esteemed figure in the field of nursing, expressed the uniqueness of International Nurses Day. Recalling his own experiences as a student in a remote district, he noted that even a school of nursing would commemorate the occasion. Dr. Dilip shared the enthusiasm and passion for nursing that he observed in Lord Nigel Crisp, the Chief Executive of the English NHS.
Additionally, he discussed the challenges faced by nurses in their working conditions. Dr. Dilip acknowledged the Indian government’s commitment to caring for nurses, although he acknowledged the presence of obstacles and difficulties in implementing reforms promptly. He highlighted the progress made since the inception of the Nurse Practitioner in Midwifery program in 2002, which has now expanded to include Nurse Practitioners in Critical Care.
He expressed his heartfelt appreciation for finally being granted the opportunity to sit alongside other esteemed regulators in the health ministry. This momentous occasion took place during the prestigious ‘Chintan Shivir’ meeting, where regulators from various domains came together on a single platform.
Dr. Dilip enthusiastically conveyed that this was the first time in history such a gathering had transpired. During the event, he actively participated in discussions, eagerly sharing his invaluable experiences and engaging in a profound exchange of thoughts centered around the crucial realms of healthcare and nursing.
KS Bharti, the Joint Secretary of the Indian Nursing Council (INC), announced with enthusiasm that the INC is on the verge of introducing the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program in the near future. This exciting development signifies a significant step forward for the nursing profession in India.
The DNP program will provide advanced education and training for nurses, empowering them to take on expanded roles and contribute to the enhancement of healthcare delivery. With the introduction of the DNP program, the INC aims to further elevate the standards and capabilities of nursing professionals, enabling them to make substantial contributions to the field and meet the evolving healthcare needs of the nation.
During the celebration, a panel discussion took place, adding depth and diversity to the event. Esteemed experts, leaders, and professionals from the nursing field came together to share their insights and engage in a meaningful dialogue.