ICCHNR is celebrating 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife through the dedication to research and science that community nurses have shown internationally, making a global difference to community health and wellbeing for all. Public health and community nursing is needed now more than ever as we face a global pandemic, research to provide evidence and data to support practice in the community is vital. The pandemic has put nursing very much in the spotlight and as public health and community nurses you have gone that extra mile to care for families, children, the frail and vulnerable, schools and communities with compassion, commitment, courage and love.

The ICCHNR poem Nursing the World by the acclaimed nurse and poet Molly Case shares the global contribution of community nursing across the world:

Nursing the World

Our plane is almost struck,

bucking through storm-clouds,

a lightning bolt

streaked with thousands of volts

electrifying the sky,

sunrise over Africa –

we marvel the very science

of being able to fly…

On land the earth is dry,

sandstone and dust,

tortuous tunnels of gold below,

the streets aglow,

honeysuckle yellow,

almond light,

cut open cassava roots

white-hot, bright and shining.


We are nursing,

reversing statistics

to which we were once restricted.

Our children living longer

stronger limbed and full bellied:

under the trees,

around the fire

aspiring to be all they can be,

strong hands, stretched fingers,

reaching up, ever-higher.


We are nursing,

Nigeria, community-led,

our babies fed,

our elderly helped to take steps,

no longer spending days lying in bed

able to see once more

reading newspapers that once lay un-read.


From Ghana to Manchester

and back again,

my moon-blood

brings pain just breathing the air,

scared to go to school

because all the children will stare.

And though my sickle cells

cannot be seen

I know the tiredness it brings,

know what pain really means.


We are nursing

mobile clinics

in the market-place in Togo,

and free phone lines

so that

you can call us whenever you need to,

whatever the time.


We are nursing,

all over the world

and though there may not be gold

beneath every street,

I know that where there are nurses

we are rich

beyond our wildest dreams.

Molly Case

There will be many more stories to tell of the everyday actions and extraordinary differences you have made to your communities during these unprecedented times. While we celebrate these stories we also remember, together with the ICN, WHO and Nursing Now, the nurses and health workers lost to the pandemic #RememberHealthHeroes

Happy International Nurses Day to you all ….