We are proud of what we have achieved. We have helped shape the world’s best health systems.
We are clear about our demands and future direction for patients, relatives, nurses, the health service and society.
And we are brave in our search for other people’s experiences and common understanding of what society needs.
Nurses have a long and proud history in developing the nursing service. Our work has strengthened health and women’s issues, and it has created the necessary innovation in health services. Yet the antiquated view of nurses as warm hands, angels and idealistic women who are cared for by men remains a nightmare.
Our reputation was in the tailwind when many Norwegians clapped for us on the balconies during the corona pandemic. Our message that people should stay at home so that we could go to work had a strong impact. Our profession was understood as vital, vital and critical for society.
During the pandemic, nurses were seen as absolutely necessary to reduce infection and treat the sick. And the lifeblood of vaccination gave society the opportunity to return to normalcy. Nevertheless, the nurses were not important enough to get a place in either the first, second or third corona commission. The salary did not keep up with the people’s gratitude.
Nurses cannot be replaced by others
In the book “Hun var ingen Florence Nightingale” Åsa Moberg writes that someone was served by portraying Nightingale in a certain light. “The lady with the lamp” was far more than hope and care. Through her eight-kilometre long evening walks along the hospital beds in Scutari, she acquired knowledge of disease development and changes based on her nursing innovations such as light, air, clean water, food and drink and clean blankets for each soldier.
The enormous importance that Nightingale had for professional development, quality, statistics, innovations, hospital construction and other community building was nevertheless written out of history. Storytellers, who were mostly men in competitive positions, described her as quiet, shy and self-sacrificing.
Our history continues to be rewritten as sacrificial idealists. Like warm hands. Easily replaceable with other hands when we know that one in five nursing shifts is replaced by personnel without health education. Hands that must be guided by those who know better. By all means – a good nurse acts based on care and with good craftsmanship, but a nurse cannot be replaced by others because the competence for care and craftsmanship is different precisely based on the final competence of the education.
What does a nurse do?
The neighbor test is an exercise that forces us to stick our finger in the ground. Imagine asking your neighbor what you, as a nurse, do at work, how long your education is, or about different types of specialized nurses.
The answers we get can hurt. It is frustrating, but basically harmless if your neighbor is ignorant of our profession. It is, on the other hand, a societal problem when government officials, and those who decide on budgets for the health and care sector, struggle to answer the same question.
In order for them to better understand the patient and the nurses’ needs, this 110th anniversary increases politicians’ insight into the nurses and society in 2022 and beyond.
If there’s one thing we know, it’s that acquiring knowledge shatters myths. Let’s tackle the myths about nursing and nurses together.
- Part-time is not voluntary. Part-time deals with an excessively high workload in the profession.
- The salary is not on par with similar professions. It is significantly lower in terms of responsibility, risk and burden – and is not at all outweighed by small supplements for inconvenient work.
- Nurses need leaders who help to stitch together professional management, courage and inspiration with administration and organisation.
- Nurses also fall ill, and therefore legislation on HSE, occupational injury and occupational disease must also be adapted to our services.
- Nurses hold hands, but like Nightingale, it is more than a caring act. The nurses simultaneously observe, analyze and plan for value-based measures that ensure the patient’s and relatives’ health, coping and hope in their unique situation.
- Nurses are particularly interested in helping patients and relatives, as well as building health services and society. The education, which includes competence in relationships, ethics, society and politics, in addition to prioritisation, project and management competence, makes the nurses an attractive workforce regardless of the sector.
I have a birthday wish
This is probably what I want most for a birthday present, on the occasion of the foundation day. That people outside the nursing sphere should also understand what we put in “the subject at the forefront”, in terms of nursing competence and professional development. And that we are able to clearly communicate what we nurses, as the largest professional group, contribute to the health service at all levels and across the country. Not just for the patient, but also for the country’s preparedness in any crisis.
Congratulations on the day to all the country’s professionally strong, competent and knowledgeable colleagues.
Congratulations to NSF on 110 years. We have a proud history with us and climb out of the window together to create a correct image of the modern nurse and the nursing of the future.
Nurses – stronger together.