SESLHD to participate in worldwide Nightingale Challenge 2020

South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) is one of two Australian organisations to take up the Nightingale Challenge 2020.

The initiative aims to give young nurses and midwives from around the world the skills they need to play an even more influential role in the future of healthcare.

Kim Olesen, Director, Nursing and Midwifery Services, SESLHD, accepted the invitation extended by Lord Nigel Crisp, who works extensively in global health and international development, and is a sitting member of the United Kingdom House of Lords.

“We look forward to working with some of our younger nurses in order to advance their personal and professional development through this initiative,” Ms Olesen said.

“The district is committed to developing the next generation of nurse leaders, so we are proud to join the Nightingale Challenge in 2020, especially given the historic links between Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospital, Lucy Osburn and Florence Nightingale.

We are thrilled to be part of this global campaign. By enhancing the role of nurses and midwives we will improve health locally, across Australia and worldwide.”

The other Australian participant in the Nightingale Challenge 2020 is the Office of the Chief Nurse, based in Queensland. In addition, hospitals from around the world are joining, those that have already signed up are facilities in Uganda, India and Jordan.

The concept for the challenge is for each employer to provide leadership and development programs for at least 20 nurses and midwives aged 35 years or under. This may include a mix of formal courses, mentoring, shadowing or learning from other professionals or services. 

The Nightingale Challenge 2020 is being run by Nursing Now, a three-year global campaign which aims to raise the profile of nurses and midwives worldwide. It is a grassroots campaign with over 120 groups in over 70 countries. 

Their aim is to have at least 20,000 young nurses and midwives benefitting from the initiative in 2020. Nursing Now will provide regional and global links for participants to partner with others in their country or in another part of the world, and to share ideas and learnings.

The Nightingale Challenge 2020 was announced in late February 2019 at a ceremony at St Thomas's Hospital, London, where Florence Nightingale first established a nursing school. The challenge will be formally launched at a Congress in Singapore at the end of June 2019 and will begin running from 1 January 2020. 

Next year is the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth and it has been declared the Year of the Nurse and Midwife by the World Health Organisation.

Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospital nurses holding up Nightingale Challenge 2020 signs