According to the Consortium of Universities for Global Health, the term “global health” indicates an area of study, research and practice that places a priority on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide. As the largest segment of the healthcare workforce, nurses have an essential role in global health. They are often the sole provider for individual patients, families and entire communities, particularly in rural and remote areas.
“…. although nurses deliver 90 percent of all healthcare services worldwide, they remain largely invisible at decision-making tables in national capitals and international agencies. Their absence constitutes a global health crisis.“ Davis, 2012
The 2014 Nursing Symposium on Global Health will address current and evolving issues related to patient care, particularly in resource-limited settings. Attendees will include multi-generational nurses and other health care workers who possess widely divergent levels of expertise. Among them:
- Nurses who have extensive experience and knowledge of global settings
- Nurses who work in the developing world and struggle to elevate their education and skills to better care for patients
- Nurses who want to be involved in global health but have not yet had the opportunity or information to do so
Symposium 2014 is a call to action intended to:
- Empower nurses and other health providers to serve as agents of change in the global community
- Strengthen the influence and voice of nurses in the strategic planning, design and implementation of health related programs
- Promote an integral nursing presence in decision-making bodies that formulate health/ health care policy and allocation of resources
- Increase the numbers and the expertise of nurses and other frontline practitioners who comprise the global health workforce at the grassroots level
- Refocus and reclaim the unique contributions of the nursing profession in responding to global health challenges
The overarching goal of the Symposium is to bring nurses, 80 percent of the global healthcare workforce, to the places where they can influence global health efforts and priorities.