The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Council of Nurses have designated 2020 as The Year of the Nurse and Midwife to honour the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale. To mark this occasion, the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and nursing partner organisations, including the Australian Ophthalmic Nurses Association (AONA), are preparing to host the first global forum for ophthalmic nurses, timed to coincide with the IAPB’s 11th General Assembly in Singapore from 12-14 October 2020.
The event will be hosted by the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) and the intent is to gather as many ophthalmic nurses from around the world as possible, said Heather Machin, AONA vice-president and project officer for the Lions Eye Donation Service. “As a two-fold strategy, the forum will firstly connect nurses to each other and secondly allow IAPB members the opportunity to meet nurses from a wide range of backgrounds. This will surely lead to new opportunities and strengthening of programmes for all parties.”
This and other planned initiatives are designed to recognise and continue to champion the nurse as a key member of the eye care team, she said. “As there is an anticipated shortage of nurses by 2030, these initiatives will also allow our sector to prepare and develop strategies to attract and retained high-quality nurses into eye care.”