Nightingale Challenge: One Year On!

Nightingale Challenge: One Year On!

By SONHSNews

Nightingale Challenge: One Year On!

By SONHSNews
SONHS associate dean shares insights at global nurse leadership conference

Dr. Johis Ortega, associate dean for Hemispheric and Global Initiatives, represented the School of Nursing and Health Studies at the Nightingale Challenge: One Year On! leadership training conference. The virtual gathering, hosted June 26 by the Nursing Now campaign, celebrated the first anniversary of the Nightingale Challenge pledge to empower emerging nurse leaders around the world. According to the organizer, the event included 67 speakers from 21 countries and over 1,000 participants.

Ortega spoke on two panels. The first, conducted in Spanish, “Investir en liderazgo de la enfermera y la matronal para mejorar el cuidado de la salud y la salud del ciudadno,” featured panelists from Mexico and Brazil, as well as two nurses who completed the Nightingale Challenge Leadership Development Program launched by SONHS: Magaly Miranda Ávila, of Chile, and Kevin Rojas, from El Salvador. Rojas noted that the ideas younger and newer nurses want to contribute aren’t always listened to or valued. The group also discussed how programs like Nursing Now’s Nightingale Challenge can help improve health care and public health by stimulating investment in nursing and midwifery leadership. Dr. Ortega’s PowerPoint outlined the leadership training program SONHS made available to over 70 emerging nurse leaders in South Florida, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

Ortega, an emergency room nurse practitioner and associate professor of clinical who directs the PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre at SONHS, also spoke on the conference’s international Career Advice Clinic panel. “I would recommend adopting the attitude of a leader,” Ortega told participants. “Accept challenges. Be bold.” Ortega, a recently elected Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, explained that he started his own journey working as a waiter to pay for nursing school. Along the way, mentors like Lois Marshall, PhD, MN, RN, motivated him to become a nurse leader. “I will never forget Dr. Lois Marshall’s lectures,” he stated. Coincidentally, Marshall, now coordinator of the National Student Nurses’ Association’s Career Development Center, was at the conference watching her former mentee address the next generation of nurse leaders. “So proud of you,” she commented to Ortega.

 

Watch the conference webinars.

 

Building a global network of connections was a major aim of the conference and the Nightingale Challenge. To date, over 740 employers and organizations in over 70 nations worldwide have accepted the Nightingale Challenge, providing leadership training to nearly 30,000 early-career nurses and midwives. Originally scheduled to end in 2020, the challenge has been extended through June 2021 because of COVID-19. Nightingale Challenge organizers also announced the launch of the Nightingale Challenge Global Solutions Initiative and its Global Solutions Initiative Facebook group, which gives young nurses and midwives everywhere a platform for collaborating on global health challenges. Their first group challenge is to devise ideas for transforming recovery care and rehab after a brain injury.

Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke was among several notable speakers at the One Year On! conference. The Nursing Now ambassador is a staunch advocate for the profession as a result of her first-hand experiences recovering from two brain hemorrhages. “Nurses and midwives have played a vital role in responding to COVID-19,” Clarke told conference participants. “Now, more than ever, it is essential that governments around the world invest in the nursing and midwifery leaders of tomorrow, and that employers engage and prepare them for the global health challenges that are to come.”

Nursing Now’s campaign co-chair, Lord Nigel Crisp, a member of the United Kingdom House of Lords, gave opening and closing remarks. His co-chair, Sheila Tlou, former health minister of Botswana and a nurse specializing in HIV/AIDS and women's health, told young nurses around the world: “This is your time. Make use of it. Become that formidable force we can reckon with. We will be right there beside you—not behind you, but beside you.”

WHO director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also took time from his duties during the pandemic to offer a message of support on the first anniversary of this global movement. “It’s essential that the efforts employers have made in encouraging nurses and midwives to be leaders extend far beyond the first year of the Nightingale Challenge,” he said. “Sustained investment in leadership within your professions will only strengthen health systems and bring us closer to achieving universal health coverage.”