2020 is the Year of the Nurse
In May 2019, the World Health Assembly designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife in honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. This recognition celebrates not only the contributions of nurses and midwives, but all health workers, and the impact they have on improving health not just in our country but globally as well.
Nurses have long been considered the most trusted profession in the United States and are the largest group of healthcare professionals in the U.S. Patients receive care from nurses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from birth through the end of life. Nurses can be found in all healthcare settings and continue to fill new roles that meet the growing and changing demand for healthcare services. And as the largest constituency of Certified Case Managers, it is important to recognize the contribution that nurses have made in the practice of case management. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 put a spotlight on care coordination, and case managers are at the forefront of being able to provide appropriate care coordination across the entire care continuum. And while the World Health Organization is specifically recognizing nurses, I would advocate that all professionals that provide case management and care coordination services be included in the recognition for the contributions that they make to ensuring the health of our population.
It is documented that 18 million additional health workers, including nurses and other professionals providing care including case management services, will be needed by 2030 to achieve and sustain universal health coverage. It is essential that education and preparation for those professionals who are currently providing or seeking to provide case management or care coordination services be provided to ensure that our citizens obtain optimal care and outcomes from the healthcare they receive. The Certified Case Manager (CCM) credential illustrates the competency of case managers in multiple practice settings and provides a measure of quality and safety for the clients and patients with whom case managers interact.
So let us embrace the World Health Organization’s recognition of health workers, including but not limited to nurses, and celebrate the benefits that they all bring to achieve universal health coverage and the mandate of the Triple Aim – to improve population health, improve the care experience, and reduce the per capita cost of care – as case managers are well poised to do. Let us all celebrate 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and the Health Care Professional!