Nursing and midwifery

WHO/Europe works closely with Member States, government chief nurses, WHO collaborating centres and other partners, such as the European Forum of National Nursing and Midwifery Associations (EFNNMA):

  • to raise the level of nursing and midwifery education in the European Region;
  • to create evidence-based knowledge on nursing and midwifery;
  • to influence national policies that will lead to the provision of high-quality, accessible, equitable, efficient and sensitive health services.

Nurses and midwives comprise the majority of health care professionals in Europe and thus play a key role in the successful delivery of health services. In line with the growing international health workforce crisis, the WHO European Region currently faces serious shortages of well-qualified nurses and midwives.

To safeguard the future health workforce and the provision of high-quality health care, steps must be taken to ensure that nursing and midwifery are seen as attractive career options. Nurses and midwives must have a solid evidence-based education that enables them to meet the changing needs of a population by working, on their own and in teams with other professionals, along the entire continuum of health and illness. In addition, their work needs systematic evaluation to show its efficiency and effectiveness, and they need to be involved in decision-making for health policy.