Nurses

New WHO Resource on Enhancing Competencies of Primary Care Nurses

For International Nurses Day on 12 May, WHO/Europe has published a set of resources to support countries to invest in and strengthen their primary health-care nursing workforce.

The publication “Competencies for nurses working in primary health care” provides guidance and inspiration for policy-makers, instructors, managers and clinicians to develop needed competencies in primary health care for nurses.

Nurses working in primary health care provide safe and effective care in disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment, management and rehabilitation. The “State of the world’s nursing 2020” report recommends the expansion of effective nurse-led models of care to improve access to primary health care, and explains why investing in strengthening nurses’ competencies is essential.

The competencies addressed in the new publication fall into 5 clusters:

  • patient advocacy and education;
  • effective communication;
  • teamwork and leadership;
  • people-centred care and clinical practice; and
  • continuous learning and research

Countries show the way with good practices

Primary health care remains the most cost-effective way to address comprehensive health needs close to people’s homes and communities, and is a cornerstone of progress towards universal health coverage.

WHO/Europe has also started developing a series of case studies to support policy-makers, instructors, managers and clinicians in achieving their primary health-care goals. A first set of 3 case studies showcases how Ireland, Poland and Slovenia have scaled up nursing roles and broadened nurses’ responsibilities in primary health care to address population health needs.

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