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Nursing Value and Values - Pat Hughes

In the critical debate concerning RCN’s re-joining ICN, I worry that we may be falling into the cynical trap that Oscar Wilde warns of where we know ‘the price of everything and the value of nothing’.


If we’re only interested in the price then the ICN membership fees, regardless of the amount, may be deemed by some to be too much. But the value of ICN membership, to RCN members, to our fellow nurses across the world, and to the people we care for and serve has been demonstrated time and again. It can be seen in nursing policies and practices, in evidence and data gathering as well as in support, influencing and advocacy which have a lasting impact on the development of nursing, nurses and ultimately global health.


Health and healthcare are in the news across the world like never before. This is an opportunity for nurses to unite together under the auspices of ICN to create a shared vision and learn from each other about how to ‘Build Back Better’ as a result of the lessons learned in the Covid pandemic. When we hear nurses sharing their experiences of dealing with Covid, in the richest or the poorest countries in the world, one of the most striking features is the recognition of how much we have in common with each other. We have shared values and aspirations as well as challenges. As ICN members we can contribute to developing and promoting these values and addressing the challenges together as part of the global voice of nursing.


Even the financial sector is shifting its focus from short term profit to values-based investing. Let’s rejoin ICN and invest in the future of nursing.


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