Best Practice Nursing Workforce

Establishment of the

‘SIGMA European Nursing Workforce, Skill Mix and Retention committee’


Important aspects of SIGMAs Europe region strategic plan are increasing the visibility of sigma and its chapters internationally and the development of leadership around crucial nursing issues.

 To this end, a key strategic objective (item 9) is the development of a joint committee on ‘Nursing Workforce, Skill Mix and Retention’- issues of upmost importance to nursing both nationally and globally.

 The committee will bring together a range of SIGMA representatives from across the European region chapters, with the ultimate aim of seeking to inform and influence policy makers and political groups around: nursing workforce issues, constitution of the nursing profession, and the outcomes of workforce decisions on staff, students and patients.

 The committee will therefore have two specific strands:


  1. Establishment of a database of best scientific evidence which robustly and rigorously covers the relationships between a range of important outcomes for both patients and staff and nursing activities, nurse-patients relationships and different levels of nurse education. Development of the database will begin with an information gathering exercise across Sigma Europe Region countries. This exercise will seek to ‘map’ both the conditions and lived experience of the nursing workforce in each country and may include exploration of:
  • Recruitment and retention, (e.g. intention to leave the profession, factors influencing intentions to remain or leave, recruitment levels and issues)
  • Qualifications and developments in nursing education (e.g. emergence of new qualifications, levels and scopes of practice, education courses etc, continuing education/professional development opportunities) 


  1. Subsequent development of an agreed SIGMA Europe statement identifying core strategic workforce issues to be pursued by policy makers and professional nursing bodies at both national and European level. With the clear aim of promoting a safe approach to nursing workforce provision and nursing practice, across health systems.

 To this end we invite each individual SIGMA chapter to contribute through delegation of a member to the committee.

 Members will be expected to contribute to the evolution, development and execution of the strands and objectives set out above, enabling us to work towards a common horizon for nursing across the European Region.

A seminal report on the State of the World’s Nursing published by
the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Council
of Nurses (ICN) and Nursing Now says a properly resourced,
educated and valued nursing workforce can enhance the health
and wellbeing of everybody on the planet.

With its timely release during the International Year of the Nurse
and Midwife and the COVID-19 pandemic, when the world’s
reliance on its health workers is evident, the report provides an
unprecedented analysis of the size and nature of the global
nursing workforce. Using data from over 190 WHO Member States,
the report provides the evidence and data to inform governments of
where investment should go in order to have the biggest impact on
population health. Its main messages to governments are about
investing in a massive expansion of nurse education, creating
six million new nursing jobs by 2030, and strengthening nursing leadership.

ICN President Annette Kennedy said:




Marie-Louise Luiking (Co-Chair), Milko Zanini (Co-Chair), Alison Steven (Secretary), 
                   Nicola Cornally, Monica Bianchi,  Rafael Bernardes, Hagar Baruch, Katja Pursio and Ana Ines Costa.