Streamlining nursing development in Ukraine
Listening and learning: streamlining nursing development in Ukraine amid the war
Nurses play a key role in the delivery of essential medical services in Ukraine, often serving as the first point of contact for patients with the health-care system and ensuring that no one is left behind. In Ukraine, WHO has established regional roundtables to gain input directly from nurses, while monthly workshops were set up in tandem to increase training opportunities.
These are just 2 examples of the ongoing work with health authorities and partners to create policies and conditions allowing nurses to achieve maximum efficiency and professional growth.
“WHO is committed to supporting Ukraine in strengthening nursing policies to ensure that Ukrainian nurses are protected, motivated, and equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge, enabling them to deliver health-care services to Ukrainian patients in the challenging circumstances posed by the war,” said Dr Jarno Habicht, WHO Representative in Ukraine.
Margrieta Langins, Nursing and Midwifery Policy Adviser, WHO/Europe, said: “The changes in nursing policies require system-wide adjustments that recognize the alignment between educational and professional standards and what needs to happen on the ground, with the engagement of nursing leaders from across the country at the heart of these discussions”.
The roundtables and workshops were guided by the Global Strategic Directions for Nursing and Midwifery priorities of strengthening nursing leadership, education and service delivery, and implementing decent work policies, facilitated by WHO together with the Centre for Nursing Development of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine (MoH) .
Regional roundtables for nursing development across Ukraine
The roundtables – held in Cherkasy, Chernihiv, Chernivtsi, Dnipro, Lutsk, Lviv, Odesa and Vinnitsa – served as a crucial platform for WHO and partners, including representatives of the MoH, local health authorities, nursing associations, and educational and health-care facilities, to come together and discuss the local needs, challenges and ways forward for nursing development in Ukraine. These working meetings aimed to assess the current nursing situation in selected Ukrainian regions, gain some insights on their working conditions and educational and training opportunities, and identify the gaps and challenges to be addressed at the policy level, especially considering the current development of Ukraine’s Nursing Strategy. More than 250 nurses participated in the roundtables, sharing their experience and contributing with ideas for the advancement of the country’s nursing sector.
Monthly workshops for nurses’ empowerment and meaningful nursing engagement
Through a series of monthly workshops in Kyiv, organized in collaboration with the Centre for Nursing Development, WHO gathered Ukrainian and international nursing experts, primary health care practitioners, rehabilitation specialists, and infection prevention and control (IPC) professionals. Nine dedicated discussions focused on the role of nurses in primary health care and rehabilitation, psychological support for nurses and mental health services, nursing leadership, IPC responsibilities, and educational and capacity-building opportunities for nurses in Ukraine. With the active participation of over 450 nurses, including chief nurses from every region of Ukraine, these workshops helped equip them with new knowledge and skills and expand their horizons by showcasing innovations in nursing practice and education that have taken place both within Ukraine and across the European Region.
The work doesn’t stop here
Having supported an important first step in more meaningful engagement of nurses in the most relevant health challenges facing Ukraine during the time of war, the MoH, with the Centre for Nursing Development and WHO, have created an opportunity to strengthen the capacity of nurses to participate in discussions on all health policy planning issues.
“War has created a need to do things differently, and the MoH is showing this every day. Ultimately this is about creating more resilience and supporting patients and the people of Ukraine, and future generations to not be left behind,” said Margrieta Langins. WHO is committed to further supporting the development of nursing in Ukraine despite ongoing challenges.
The regional roundtables and workshops were held by WHO in Ukraine with financial support from the Government of Canada and the European Union.