Nursing isn’t just about entering nursing school, getting a degree, starting a job in a hospital, taking a salary, and doing your duty until retirement. People who have been critically ill and cared for by a nurse understand that there is no such thing as ‘just a nurse’. They have seen the value and professionalism of the specialist nurses who have been responsible for their care. Leaders need to ask the nurses in their teams what pushes them to achieve higher goals, what makes them feel rewarded in their work, and what support they need to invest in their careers in the long term. What they need to be more than ‘just a nurse’.
Over the years, we have taken it for granted that nurses will continue to just do their job. We haven’t promoted our profession enough. As part of this, we haven’t tackled the misconceptions about nursing and highlighted that it can be a challenging job. Since 2020, we have worked to make a real change, by creating an ambitious and long-term plan. This has included three congresses on the theme of ‘The specialist in European healthcare towards 2030’, with three main goals:
- Showcase the contribution of the specialist nurse across the full spectrum in healthcare through to 2030.
- Showcase the nurses’ expertise in a range of health topics from clinical care to high level policy.
- Promote the work and wellbeing of specialist nurses and contribute to retention and recruitment.
The world of the specialist nurse is huge: Education in universities and hospitals. Nursing in a range of places, including: hospitals working with babies, children and adults, communities, clinics, schools, colleges and universities, military, prisons and care homes and nursing homes
Specialist nurses work on the ground, in management and on boards. They work in national legislation and in marginalised areas. They help to improve patient care, increase efficiency, and contribute to budget setting. We should be proud of the range of jobs that specialist nurses do, and the range of places where they work. And we need to improve their visibility in all of these roles and places and seek by any means recognition of their work, facilitate them in their career pathways and act according salary scales.
The people we meet in our projects and activities are not only specialist nurses but also health professionals and academics, and people who work in European institutes, the healthcare industry, and patient organisations. All of these people can feed our appetite and refine our ambition.
With this 10 year program we will showcase our roles, capabilities and work in serving European healthcare, showcase our ambition with clear objectives. It’s in our wish that you embrace our ambition and engage in our work and activities and celebrate with us annual milestones at each International Nursing Day 12th of May. We are already in the stage that the first 2 years has passed but they were crucial. In 2020, during the Year of the Nurse, in the heart of the Covid drama, we were able setting out the motivation and in 2021 working on the fundamentals of this program. In this program the ESNO is invest in European health and we will do a lot but cannot do this alone. If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.
It my dearest wish with our members and associates you also feel inspired and motivated in raising the profile of the Specialist Nurse, engage in our campaign and contribute to a better and inspiring healthcare towards 2030.
Adriano Friganovic ESNO president
The program will soon be published