A statement from Susan Michaels-Strasser, PhD, MPH, MSc., RN, FAAN, senior implementation director for ICAP at Columbia University, on the appointment of Elizabeth Iro, RN, as Chief Nursing Officer for the World Health Organization (WHO):

Please join us in congratulating Elizabeth Iro as the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) at the World Health Organization (WHO). Her appointment is a milestone in the advancement of nursing and in ensuring nurses and nursing are represented at the highest levels of policy formation.

For too long, nurses have lacked representation at the highest levels of the WHO, despite providing up to 80% of health care services around the world. I want to thank the new WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom for his leadership and prioritization of primary health care and the essential role of frontline nurses.

In his announcement of the posting of the CNO, Dr. Tedros explained, “Nurses play a critical role not only in delivering healthcare to millions around the world, but also in transforming health policies, promoting health in communities, and supporting patients and families. Nurses are central to achieving universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals. Ms. Iro will keep that perspective front and centre at WHO.”

As the Senior Implementation Director and Associate Director for Nursing Programs, I too believe that nurses are central to achieving universal health coverage. We hope that nursing leaders and frontline nurses will support Ms. Iro as she begins this critical role and to raise our voice for improving health care through patient-centered, evidence-based primary health care. She has a seat at the table and we need to show that we are behind her.

Please share the good news with your colleagues and peers.

For a full copy of the WHO announcement please click here.

For information on how ICAP is building strong nursing workforces and advancing the profession of nursing, click here.

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