With approximately 28 million professionals worldwide, Nursing is the largest occupational group in the health sector and is at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, playing a key role in patient care.
International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every May 12th, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, who is considered the pioneer of modern nursing. The theme of the 2021 campaign is “Nurses: A Voice to Lead – A vision for the Future of Healthcare.” In 2021, designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the International Year of Health and Care Workers , in recognition of the performance of these professionals against the Covid-19 pandemic, the International Nursing Council seeks to catch a glimpse of the future of nursing and how these professionals will transform the vision of healthcare.
The goals of the Year of Health and Care Workers are in line with the objectives of the 2021 World Nurses Day campaign, such as “involving Member States and all relevant stakeholders in the dialogue on a care pact to protect health and care workers’ rights, providing decent work and practice environments”; and “bring together communities, influencers, political and social support in solidarity, advocacy and care for health and care workers.”
The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) celebrated International Nurses Day through its Department of Health Systems and Services (HSS), which organized a webinar on May 11th to celebrate the date and discuss the need to protect and invest in nursing professionals.
As part of the celebration of International Nurses Day, PAHO/WHO launched the publication “Contributions of nursing and midwifery professionals to women’s health—Stories from the Region of the Americas” (in Spanish; the English and Portuguese versions will be published consecutively). The Infographic on the infirmary situation in the Americas is also available. Be sure the watch the “Nursing perspectives and contributions to promote universal health” video, a collaboration between the PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center on Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Illinois in Chicago and PAHO.
Access to up-to-date, quality, and selected information is the basis for training new professionals, as well as for continuous training. This is only possible if the work is done within a network, and this is the strategy that BIREME follows for the development of its products. An example is the Nursing VHL, a Latin American reference for professionals in the field, developed in collaboration with a network of nursing professionals.
The Nursing VHL selects, organizes, and disseminates the best scientific production in the field, to facilitate access by nursing professionals, students, and decision makers to the best scientific evidence. Its portal uses the methodologies and information management technologies developed by BIREME and is coordinated by the School of Nursing of the Federal University of Minas Gerais, with the collaboration of a network of institutions producing scientific and technical information in the field of Nursing in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Cuba, and Uruguay.
The main source of information for BVS Nursing is the Nursing Database – BDENF, which is constantly updated and currently has more than 57,000 bibliographic records, of which approximately 43,000 are full-text documents.
Other BIREME products and services for nursing and health professionals, in general, include:
Primary Health Care VHL (PHC VHL/BVS APS): A virtual library that puts general information relevant to decision making in the hands of doctors, nurses, health technicians, and primary healthcare professionals in general.
Second Formative Opinion – SFO Nursing: Questions and answers based on evidence in health related to the priority problems of primary healthcare and nursing.
Search Strategies on the Brazil Nursing VHL: A collection of search strategies developed by information professionals in cooperation with specialists in the investigated fields, favoring the recovery of specific and qualified information to support decision making and/or clinical decisions.
e-BlueInfo version 2.0: A mobile application that puts information in the palm of PHC professionals, with access to guides, standards, protocols, and others, selected by specialists from the Ministries of Health of each country.
COVID-19 Window of Knowledge: A space that gathers, organizes, and highlights selected information from the VHL and other relevant information sources about SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19.
Nursing and COVID-19 Window of Knowledge: This exhibition aims to systematize and disseminate the scientific and technical literature on nursing, as well as documents and initiatives that highlight the participation of nursing in the fight against COVID-19.
Self-learning courses on Access to Information and Scholarly Communication in Health, which have more than 29,000 and 15,000 registered participants (to date), respectively, and where nursing personnel are the main group that accesses them.
According to Diego González, Director of BIREME, “working with the first line of care has always been a priority for BIREME as part of our mission to democratize information, knowledge, and evidence for decision-making in health. This year, in which we are all involved in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, BIREME reaffirms its commitment to working with nurses, aligned with WHO’s designation that 2021 be the International Year of Health and Care Workers ”.
International Day of Nurses – International Council of Nurses. https://www.icn.ch/what-we-do/campaigns/international-nurses-day
PAHO/WHO – International Nurses Day – https://www.paho.org/en/events/international-nurses-day
World Health Organization. Year of the Health and Care Workers 2021. https://www.who.int/campaigns/annual-theme/year-of-health-and-care-workers-2021#
 United Nations member states have unanimously decided to designate 2021 as the International Year of Health and Care Workers. The decision of the 73rd World Health Assembly is a recognition of the dedication and sacrifice of millions of frontline professionals in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.