A brighter future for nurses and nursing is the mission of this year’s International Nurses Day, themed “Our Nurses. Our Future.” Nurses play an instrumental and lead role in global health, and require education to support their work. The innovative approach of the Nurses Group of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) utilizes eLearning to offer nurses continued education and networking opportunities. This is one way in which a brighter future for nurses and nursing can be promoted, and by supporting nurses and their future, the health system is strengthened.
Nurses are the backbone of global health, providing care and leadership in addressing global health challenges everywhere. The International Council of Nurses (ICN)—working to ensure quality nursing care for all, the advancement of nursing knowledge, and the presence worldwide of a respected nursing profession—announced the theme for International Nurses Day (IND) 2023: “Our Nurses. Our Future.”
This theme calls to identify what nursing needs now and in the future to address the global health challenges we are facing and improve global health for all. Nurses are invaluable for the health system, and by supporting them, we can strengthen the health system and enable it to respond with agility to increasing and dynamic global health demands.
Achieving a brighter future for nurses and nursing requires greater investment, increased resources, and meaningful action today. Education is the foundation on which nursing is built and supporting the professional practice of nursing through education is imperative.
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused monumental disruption to education and the environments in which nurses learn. However, unique ways of learning, professional training, and making resources available online make it possible for nurses to continue their education.
Training and the availability of resources are crucial to fostering a brighter future for nursing. The Nurses Group of the European Blood and Marrow Transplant Society (EBMT) recognized this, and established an online eLearning program for nurses interested to continue their education in transplantation, as well as benefit from access to a network of colleagues, peers, and experts from the field.
The EBMT—a community of healthcare professionals from clinical blood and marrow transplantation and cellular therapy—set out to support and share knowledge through communication, advocacy, research, training, and education. Nurses have been taking a lead role in this field, promoting and practicing holistic care, becoming involved in decision-making processes, and advocating for their patients, thus contributing to an enhancement of their patients’ quality of life.
On the EBMT website, a dedicated area for eLearning offers nurses e-courses, webinars, a discussion forum, a podcast, and more. A key resource in the program is the open access EBMT textbook for nurses titled The European Blood and Marrow Transplantation Textbook for Nurses.
This comprehensive resource, having been published open access, is available to program participants as well as any other interested professionals. Its first edition, publishing in 2018, has already been downloaded almost half a million times, and a second edition is from Spring 2023. The commitment to an even greater global reach is exemplified in plans to make available fully translated versions, starting with French.
EBMT’s online educational offer can reach many nurses through a highly effective method of learning. However, it is encouraged to supplement this with support for nurses to meet in person for the opportunity to share knowledge and experiences, augment their learning with networking, generate ideas, and more.
Nurses are crucial to global health, and it is important to shine a light on them and their vital role in society, moving them from invisible to invaluable.
Michelle Kenyon, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Department of Haematological Medicine, Denmark Hill, London SE5 9RS, United Kingdom
Michelle Kenyon works as the Consultant Nurse (BMT) at King’s College Hospital London. She has worked for more than 30 years in the field of Haemato-oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation. Her interest in improving the patient experience of Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) led her to write "The Seven Steps", a patient information book (2002) and subsequently the "Next Steps" (2012). Around 50,000 copies of these titles have been distributed, and are used as the basis of informed consent for transplant recipients throughout the UK.