If you think about the issues affecting world health today, it's easy to be overwhelmed. Just thinking about the challenges we're facing in the United States is overwhelming enough; so you can imagine the task the U.N. faced when it decided to address the health and welfare issues of the globe.
The Millennium Development Goals developed by the U.N. include: end poverty and hunger; universal primary education for all persons; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other major diseases; ensure environmental sustainability by providing safe drinking water and basic sanitation; and develop a global partnership that addresses special needs of developing countries, provides access to affordable essential drugs, and access to new information and communication technologies.
As nurses we are in a unique position to impact the health and welfare of people in our own back yard and around the globe. Several thought leaders from Sigma Theta Tau International, the Nightingale Initiative for Global Health, and the Florence Nightingale Museum believed in this ideal and created the 2010 International Year of the Nurse initiative. IY Nurse 2010 was developed to recognize the contributions of nurses globally and to engage nurses in the promotion of world health.
I challenge each of you to read about the U.N. MDG goals (http://un.org/millenniumgoals), and the efforts of IY Nurse 2010 (http://www.2010IYNurse.net ). Look for opportunities where you work, in your neighborhood, and in your community where you can partner with other nurses and healthcare providers to affect change. I look forward to hearing your ideas on how we can make a difference.