BIREME Bulletin n° 80

International Nurses Day 2023: Our Nurses. Our future

Considered essential for achieving the goals established by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, nursing represents 59% of health care providers worldwide. The largest category in the health systems workforce comprises 27.9 million professionals, including nurses, technologists, technicians, and assistants, with women representing 89% of the group.

Data from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) show, however, a heterogeneous distribution of these professionals among the countries of the Americas region. The United States, Canada and Brazil concentrate 87% of the entire workforce, and the density of professionals per 10,000 inhabitants varies from 156 in the USA to 3.8 in Haiti. In half of the countries in the Region, the number of nursing professionals per 10,000 population is less than or equal to 26.3.

In order to contribute to the Strategic Guideline for Nursing in the Region of the Americas, which seeks, among others, to strengthen the quality of nursing education to respond to the needs of health systems, BIREME keeps the VHL Nursing information source collections up to date.

The Nursing VHL platform provides comprehensive access to up-to-date and reliable information about nursing and health. This framework enables knowledge sharing, promotes continuing education, and improves the quality of nursing care in the Region of the Americas. According to Joanita Barros, BIREME librarian, “in May 2023, the Nursing Database – BDENF, which is the main source of information for the VHL Nursing, accounts for more than 69,000 bibliographic records, including journal articles, theses, dissertations, and congress papers”.

The free and equal access that users have to VHL Nursing, regardless of geographic location or available technologies, has the potential to promote health equity, contributing to the strengthening of systems and the reduction of health inequalities between countries. “In 2022 alone, VHL Nursing reached an audience of more than 81,000 users and 392,000 page views, mainly from countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Portugal and others”, informs Barros.

Among the actions scheduled for the year is the organization of the 22nd Ordinary Meeting of the Consultative Committee of the VHL Nursing Brazil, to be held in the context of the 22nd National Seminar on Research in Nursing. The event is scheduled to take place in July 2023, in person in Curitiba-PR, and will feature the participation of JoĂŁo Paulo Souza, director of BIREME, in the round table “Use of Scientific Evidence for Action in Health”.

The following subprojects will still be on the meeting agenda:

a) Analysis of the Bibliographic Control of the BDENF/LILACS databases and design of strategies to improve the indexing process and strengthen indexed Brazilian journals;

b) Analysis of the indexing process of theses and dissertations in the BDENF/LILACS in the Iberoamerican scenario and establishment of strategies to increase the adhesion of Graduate Programs in Nursing;

c) Descriptors in Nursing – presentation of the subproject: macro activities and referrals for reviewing and updating the DeCS Nursing;

d) Thematic Areas and Windows of Knowledge: discussion and deliberation on the creating of new thematic areas and Windows of Knowledge;

e) REV@ENF Collection: evaluation and perspectives

Nursing VHL information sources

Created in 2012 to promote the dissemination and systematization of Ibero-American health literature, the VHL Nursing has established itself as an international platform in favor of free access and greater visibility to the production of knowledge generated by the sector. From the VHL Nursing online portal, the user can navigate through multiple sources of information in the area, the main ones being:

  • Nursing Database – BDENF: Database of bibliographic records, with articles from scientific journals, postgraduate theses, Clinical Practice Guides, evaluated systematic reviews, among other documents.
  • Journal Portal – REV@ENF: Portal of scientific journals based on the SciELO methodology. Its documents are also retrieved from the LILACS and BDENF databases.
  • Nursing SFO – Second Formative Opinion: Evidence-based questions and answers related to priority issues in Primary Health Care and nursing.
  • Window of knowledge History of Nursing: Collection of information sources that portray­ the evolution of the nursing profession in the world. It presents the knowledge on Nursing and Health in the context and historical-social script in photographs, videos, filmography, written documents, biographies, rare works, conferences, articles, and academic work.
  • Search Strategies in Nursing Brazil VHL: Collection of search strategies developed by information professionals in cooperation with specialists in the investigated areas, favoring the retrieval of specific and qualified information to support decision-making and/or clinical decision.

International Nurses Day 2023

To celebrate International Nurses Day 2023, PAHO/WHO organized, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, United States, a webinar entitled “Nursing human resources to serve populations living in conditions of vulnerability in the Region of the Americas: availability, capacity and regulation”, with the aim of promoting discussion about the capacity, availability and distribution of qualified nurses to expand access and health coverage of populations in primary health care services, especially for populations living in in vulnerable conditions. The event had the participation of Dr Jarbas Barbosa, Director of PAHO/WHO and with the participation of Ministries of Health and Education, representatives of universities, Collaborating Centers of PAHO/WHO, nursing associations, government nurses, professionals , students, and other interested parties. The full program is available on the event page, and the recording can be watched on the PAHO TV YouTube channel.

Links of interest

Pan American Health Organization. (2022). The Strategic Importance of National Investment in Nursing Professionals in the Region of the Americas. Available from:

World Health Organization. (‎2022)‎. Global strategic directions for nursing and midwifery 2021-2025. Available from:

Pan American Health Organization. (2022). Building Resilient Health Systems to Advance toward Universal Health in the Americas: Lessons from COVID-19. Available from:

Biblioteca Virtual en Salud EnfermerĂ­a: (in Spanish)

BVS Ministério da Saúde. Nossos enfermeiros, nosso futuro”: 12/5 – Dia Internacional da Enfermagem. Available from: (in Portuguese)

Vitrina del Conocimiento Trabajo de Enfermería en América Latina & Caribe. (in Spanish)

Vitrina del Conocimiento EnfermerĂ­a COVID-19. (in Spanish)

Vitrine do Conhecimento HistĂłria da Enfermagem. (in Portuguese)

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