International Year of the Nurse and Midwife 2020

Implications for Cardiovascular Nurses

The World Health Organization (WHO), International Confederation of Midwives, International Council of Nurses, Nursing Now and the United Nations Population Fund have joined forces to declare 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife.” This year-long commemoration seeks to celebrate the work of nurses and midwives, highlight the challenging conditions they often face and advocate for increased investments in the nursing and midwifery workforce.1

Five Investment Areas of the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife 2020 Campaign and Implications for Cardiovascular Nurses
1. Investing in more nurse-led and midwife-led services enabling nurses and midwives to work to their full potential
2. Employing more specialist nurses
3. Making midwives and nurses central to primary health care, providing services and supervising community health worker
4. Supporting nurses and midwives in health promotion and disease prevention
5. Investing in nursing and midwifery leadership

Cardiovascular nurses work in different contexts across the globe, including coronary care units, cardiac catheterization, intensive care units, operating theatres, cardiac rehabilitation centers, clinical research, cardiac surgery units, cardiovascular intensive care units, and community/public health settings. Cardiovascular nurses often provide care to patients with serious cardiovascular conditions and play a critical role in CVD prevention.

Cardiovascular nurses are uniquely positioned to play a significant role in reducing the global burden of CVD. However, many cardiovascular nurses provide care in countries that do not recognize strong nursing leadership or value the unique contributions that nurses provide to the cardiovascular care team.

To that effect, the Global Cardiovascular Nursing Leadership Forum (GCNLF), a project of PCNA, is exploring ways in which nursing and global nursing organizations can support the established cardiovascular risk reduction and stroke reduction goal set by the WHO to reduce deaths from non-communicable diseases 25% by 2025. The mission of the GCNLF is to engage and mobilize an international community of nurse leaders to promote the prevention of CVD and stroke worldwide through research, education, policy, and advocacy. 

Nurses across the globe have the capacity to influence and motivate health behavior change of individuals at risk for CVD. To elevate the status of cardiovascular nurses, coordinated and sustained efforts are needed to empower cardiovascular nurses in low income and middle-income countries5,6 where organized nursing practice and presence is not well established for the prevention of and rehabilitation from CVD. Sustainable training opportunities should be provided for nurses in these settings to take on a more active role in the prevention and management of CVD.


  1. World Health Organization(WHO). Executive Board designates 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife”. Available at: Accessed May, 31, 2019.
  2. GBD 2017 Causes of Death Collaborators. Global, regional, and national age-sex-specific mortality for 282 causes of death in 195 countries and territories, 1980-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Lancet. 2018; 392: 1736-1788.
  3. Yusuf S, Reddy S, Ounpuu S, Anand S. Global burden of cardiovascular diseases: part I: general considerations, the epidemiologic transition, risk factors, and impact of urbanization. Circulation. 2001; 104: 2746-2753.
  4. Mensah GA, Roth GA, Fuster V. The Global Burden of Cardiovascular Diseases and Risk Factors: 2020 and Beyond. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2019; 74: 2529-2532.
  5. Commodore-Mensah Y, Turkson-Ocran RA, Dennison Himmelfarb CR. Empowering Nurses to Lead Efforts to Reduce Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke Risk: Tools for Global Impact. J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2019; 34: 357-360.
  6. Hayman LL, Berra K, Fletcher BJ, Houston Miller N. The Role of Nurses in Promoting Cardiovascular Health Worldwide: The Global Cardiovascular Nursing Leadership Forum. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015; 66: 864-866.

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