Health workforce

Nursing and midwifery at WHO

The number of Resolutions on nursing and midwifery adopted by the WHO World Health Assembly demonstrates the importance WHO Member States attach to nursing and midwifery services as a means of achieving better population health outcomes. The most recent resolution, WHA 64.7, gives WHO the mandate to strengthen the capacity of nursing and midwifery workforce through the provision of support to Member State on a number of strategies including:

  • developing targets and action plans for the development of nursing and midwifery, as an integral part of national or subnational health plans,
  • forging strong, interdisciplinary health teams to address health and health system priorities,
  • participating in the ongoing work of WHO’s initiatives on scaling up transformative education and training in nursing and midwifery,
  • collaborating within their regions and with the nursing and midwifery professions in the strengthening of national or subnational legislation and regulatory processes that govern those professions,
  • strengthening the dataset on nurses and midwives as an integral part of the national and subnational health workforce information systems,
  • harnessing the knowledge and expertise of nursing and midwifery researchers,
  • engaging actively the expertise of nurses and midwives in the planning, development, implementation and evaluation of health and health system policy and programming,
  • implementing strategies for enhancement of interprofessional education and collaborative practice,
  • including nurses and midwives in the development and planning of human resource programmes that support incentives for recruitment, retention and strategies for improving workforce issues,
  • implementing the WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel.
WHO resolutions on strengthening nursing and midwifery