As you may already know, I am a nurse and midwife. I had an exciting opportunity to be involved in many aspects of the nursing profession in my previous role as CEO of Royal College of Nursing Australia (RCNA). Years of preparation went into being the Australian hosts of the International Congress of Nursing (ICN) with the 25th Quadrennial Congress here in Melbourne. Following the RCNA merger with the College of Nursing NSW, Australian College of Nursing (ACN) continued with the huge effort. Finally, the hard work came to fruition with the Congress being delivered in Melbourne last week.
Through a parade of nations representing more than 90 countries, the opening ceremony introduced over 4000 nurses from around the globe to Melbourne. On social media some people affectionately referred to the event as the “Olympics of Nursing”. Many participants used Twitter as a powerful platform to feel connected in multiple places at once. I shouted out for MS nurses over Twitter and received responses from a number of neurological nurses. I was thrilled to also meet up with Hunter Valley MS Nurse Amanda Lydon.
The congress was such a great event to connect and discuss issues for the profession which affect us all across the globe. The theme was ‘Access and Equity’ and no one could argue that the theme does not apply to our MS community. There were thoughtful discussions which demonstrated the issues that all health systems and nurses are faced with across the globe.
This led me to thinking about The National Advocates Conference that will be integrated this year into a broader event as a MS Forum – “Championing The MS Cause”. Social Media is such a fabulous tool for us to use across our societies and work. We will feature some aspects on Social Media to complement the program for the National Advocates. While the advocates hold their real-life conference, we will open up a concurrent session to other interested stakeholders in our MS world and hope we can encourage many of you to consider attending the Forum on 4 and 5 July in Melbourne. More detail next week!
Finally, Wednesday 29 May is World MS Day. People will be taking part in activities to raise awareness of MS around the globe. Are you getting involved in World MS Day this year? What do you plan on doing?