international year of the nurse and midwife banner

International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has named 2020 as International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, which coincides with two hundred years since the birth of Florence Nightingale.

This year is an opportunity to celebrate and showcase the enormous contributions of both nurses and midwives, as well as working collectively to ensure that we are addressing the shortage of these vital professions globally.

The RCN wants to put nursing and midwifery front and centre in 2020. We will be sharing achievements from across the globe, as well as looking at what we need as a profession to grow and develop in the future.

Members can get involved in the following ways: 

  • Our brand new exhibition, Who cares? A history of emotions in nursing is now open. This exhibition shows how nursing had been shaped by ideas around class, race, and gender, as well as changes in practice and politics, over the last 150 years.
  • We are partners in Nightingale2020, a new international conference reflecting on the role of nurses and midwives in health care today.
  • Special celebrations packs for Nurses Day 12 May 2020.
  • Continue to support and engage with our England safe staffing campaign by becoming an e-campaigner
  • We’ve also created a celebratory twibbon and would love to hear more from you on how you plan to mark this special year. Get in touch with us through Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to share your ideas. 
  • Join our Celebration of Irish Nurses event in Bolton.

We will be sharing more opportunities to get involved as the year goes on!

Spotlight on nursing achievements

Specialist nurse Dorcas Gwata explains the potential for nurses to prevent stabbings, stop the cycle of violence and help turn young lives around.

Who cares? A history of emotions in nursing

Never-before-seen artefacts and stained glass windows inspired by RCN members show how our views of nursing have evolved over the past 150 years.


Find out more about Nightingale2020, an exciting international conference showcasing how nurses and midwives are transforming global health and care for everyone, everywhere.