When she isn’t busy capturing the heart of Britain, having royal children, or effortlessly setting fashion standards with her sister Pippa, the royal family’s Kate Middleton has another cause dear to her heart: promoting the importance of nurses worldwide.
This week, the Duchess of Cambridge visited a UK hospital, where she helped announce the launch of the international “Nursing Now” campaign, a three-year global campaign organized by the International Council of Nurses and the World Health Organization. The campaign aims to raise the status of nurses worldwide, and ensure that they are “properly deployed, valued and included in policy and decision-making”—a goal which, if you are a nurse or studying to become a nurse, should sound pretty darn great.
“This campaign means a lot to me personally. My great-grandmother and grandmother were both volunteer nurses,” Kate said in her speech. “Your dedication and professionalism are awe-inspiring. I have been struck today by the enormous range of responsibilities that nurses have, not only in providing access to healthcare, but also in terms of providing a holistic approach to caring for our physical and mental health.”
Kate has also become an official patron of the campaign. If you’d like to see and hear her speech launching Nursing Now, you can see it here.
Activities took place in countries all around the world, including the US, Switzerland, the UK, Jamaica, and others, all celebrating the contribution of nurses to world health, and looking forward to what nurses could accomplish in the near future. (You can watch the official launch here, but carve out some time… it’s over an hour and a half long, but worth it!) .
In an unrelated but equally valuable moment, another world figure also took the time this week to praise nurses: Pope Francis.
Nurses (whom he calls “experts in humanity”) are “truly irreplaceable,” the pope said. “Like no other, the nurse has a direct and continuous relationship with patients, takes care of them every day, listens to their needs and comes into contact with their very body, that he tends to.”
To add a personal aspect to his words, the pope shared the story of when a nurse (Sister Cornelia Caraglio) saved his life when he was just a 20-year old in Argentina.
“[She was] a good woman, even brave, to the point of arguing with the doctors. Humble, but sure of what she was doing,” the pope recalled. “Thanks to those things [she suggested], I survived.”
In a time when our shortage of nurses seems to be getting worse, public encouragement and recognition of nurses is more important than ever. We can’t wait to see what comes from the Nursing Now movement, and are always thrilled to see the hardworking nurses we know given the spotlight they so richly deserve.