The World Health Organization designated 2020 internationally as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife in honor of Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday. To celebrate the work that nurses do globally, nursing organizations around the world are creating programs that offer recognition—as well as education, training, and professional development.

One such program is Nursing Now’s Nightingale Challenge, an initiative that will help the next generation of nurses grow into tomorrow’s nurse leaders. It challenges large nursing employers to each provide leadership and development training for 20 nurses and midwives aged 35 and younger, with the goal of reaching at least 20,000 young professionals in 2020.

Nursing Now suggests considering a mix of formal courses, mentoring, job shadowing, and learning from interprofessional colleagues. The only requirement is that the education include leadership and organizational components in addition to clinical training. Participating institutions will report on the experience at the end of 2020.

Although it may seem daunting, ONS resources can offer ideas and support to achieve success:

The American Nurses Association kicked off the Nightingale Challenge in the United States in June 2019. Learn more about how your institution can accept the challenge.

Nursing Now is a global campaign run in collaboration with the World Health Organization and the International Council of Nurses that is working to improve health by raising the status and profile of nursing. It has groups in more than 90 countries and launched Nursing Now USA in April 2019 under the direction of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing, the University of Washington School of Nursing, American Nurses Association, and the U.S. Public Health Service Chief Nurse Officer.

If your organization is participating in the Nightingale Challenge, help others learn from your plans and experience. Email to share your story.