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2020 Year of the Nurse Midwife: Passion, Power and Purpose

Collection launched: May 12, 2020
Nurses and midwives have been on the frontlines of human care for centuries. Their traditions and skills have been essential in birth, life and death. While 2020 has brought new challenges, uncertainty, and placed health on the forefront of our global discourse, it marks a powerful opportunity to celebrate these frontline caregivers in the Year of the Nurse and Midwife. Throughout history, nurses and midwives have provided over 70% of the care required in all settings across the globe. Their brave and compassionate leadership in health is a standard bearer for us all - and even more so today in the profound challenges we face with COVID-19. This edition of Annals of Global Health is dedicated to the nurses and midwives who have been leading for centuries and continue to lead today. As the Editors of this special collection, we bring our commitment to human resource and health capacity building to help raise the voices of nurses and midwives everywhere. This collection shares the passion of nurses and midwives for their profession, the power of their convictions, and their purpose in bringing comfort and health to their patients and communities. The papers in this academic collection are authored by nursing and midwifery leaders who exemplify these qualities across four cornerstones of a strong health system: education, practice, regulation, and policy. Through these articles, we learn what it takes to build universal access to safe anesthesia care in Liberia; reduce the maternal mortality rate in Uganda with bachelors and masters level midwifery education; ensure nursing graduates are qualified to practice after an entry-to-practice exam in Eswatini; disrupt “archaic narratives” about nurses in academia in the US; assess a country’s readiness for a Family Nurse Practitioner program in Eswatini; and overcome a medicalized model of care with midwifery led wards across the globe. The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented challenge in today’s world complicated by globalization, population growth, and persistent inequities. The pandemic requires a new discourse about our daily life, personal and institutional needs, and approaches to strengthening of health systems. As we turn our attention to managing the challenges ahead, our authors reinforce that we are all stronger when nurses and midwives lead. (Image credit: Seed Global Health)