Welcome to the WHO Year of The Nurse and the Midwife 2020.

9 January 2020

World Health Assembly has designated 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. Nurses and midwives play a vital role in providing health services. We are the people who devote their lives to caring for people across the world; giving lifesaving immunizations and health advice; looking after older people and generally meeting everyday essential health needs. Nurses are often, the first and only point of care in their communities. The WHO believes the world needs 9 million more nurses and midwives if it is to achieve universal health coverage by 2030. The year coincides with the bicentennial of the birth of Florence Nightingale, who is rightly recognized as the founder of modern nursing, but she was so much more; a female icon in her own lifetime, a healthcare pioneer, an influential statistician, a trailblazer and a leader. Her legacy still lives on today. 

For cancer nurses generally and for UKONS specifically 2020 promises to be a very exciting year. Despite being born in Florence, Italy, Nightingale was quintessentially English. She hailed from the British upper class from a background that frequently put her choice of career at odds with the expectations of her family and English society more widely. This brings the focus of the celebrations to the UK and UKONS are very much proud to be part of making this a year to remember.  

The first major event for oncology nurses to be aware of is the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ICCN) 2020. The ICCN and UKONS will be working together to bring the International Conference on Cancer Nursing to London on 29th March to 1st April 2020. ICCN is the longest running international conference for our profession and offers a unique opportunity to meet with international cancer nursing leaders from around the world in one place at one time. The conference is attended by practitioners, researchers, educators and leaders from national/regional cancer nursing societies, oncology institutions and other organizations representing cancer nurses from around the globe. The theme for ICCN 2020 is ‘Innovation and Inspiration: Celebrating the Global Impact of Oncology Nurses’. UKONS will also be hosting a preconference symposium at the Royal Marsden Hospital on Sunday 29th March. For those interested in attending the conference, more information is available, and registration can be accessed, here https://iccn2020.org/ 

No less important for UK oncology nurses  will be our own UKONS Conference which takes place in Belfast on 20th to 21st November. Planning for this conference is already well advanced and it is likely to be our most exciting event to date. Aptly for the Year of the Nurse, the theme of the conference is ‘Nursing at the Core of Cancer Care’. Hold the date and you will be receiving much more information on the programme as 2020 progresses via this bulletin and via our website 

All that remains for us to say is that the UKONS board hope that 2020 is a fantastic year for all our members and cancer nurses everywhere.