Health workforce

Operational modalities

The office of nursing and midwifery is supported by the Regional Nursing Advisers in the six WHO regional offices as well as the Global Advisory Group on Nursing and Midwifery (GAGNM), the Task Force on Strengthening Nursing and Midwifery Services and the Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centres for Nursing and Midwifery Development (GNWHOCC).

The Global Advisory Group on Nursing and Midwifery (GAGNM)

The Global Advisory Group on Nursing and Midwifery (GAGNM) was created in 1992. GAG/NM serves as a strategic, action-oriented body providing policy advice to the Director-General and the WHO Cabinet to strategically enhance the contributions of nursing and midwifery within the context of all WHO priorities and programmes. The group's geographically balanced membership comprises professionals with a wide range of expertise and personal attributes that result in policy advice that ensures the primacy of global health in all matters. A minimum of 50% of the members are nurses and midwives. Ad hoc members are added as needed by the Director-General.

The Regional Advisers for Nursing and Midwifery (RNA)

There is one Adviser for nursing and midwifery in each of the six WHO regional offices. The work of these regional advisers and that of WHO Headquarters is complementary. Regional Advisers for nurning and midwifery are the technical links countries in their respective regions.

The Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centres (WHOCCs)

The Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centres (WHOCCs) for Nursing and Midwifery Development is an independent, international, not-for-profit, voluntary organization comprising the worldwide WHOCCs. There are over 40 WHO Collaborating Centres worldwide, specializing in nursing and midwifery development. The mission of the Global Network is to maximize the contribution of nursing and midwifery in order to advance health for all in partnership with WHO, its Member States and others interested in promoting the health of populations.

The New Secretariat

Since July 2008, the Secretariat of the Global Network is the WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing Research Development at the University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto College of Nursing, Brazil.

Government Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officers

Government Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officers (GCNMs), located in Ministries of Health in WHO members States, are professional leaders playing strategic, management and policy formulation functions. They are Key partners for the World Health organization. As leaders, they are important for health systems development. In recognition of their importance and need for networking, WHO convenes a Global forum every two years during which they deliberate on critical health issues impacting on nursing and midwifery and reach consensus of operational plans.

Global Alliance on Nursing and Midwifery Communities of Practice

This Alliance links health professions, policy makers and stakeholders. It is designed to provide opportunities to share knowledge and experiences, personal insights and recommendations on global health issues. Currently 13000 health professionals from 125 countries are connected and have actively participated in these main areas:

  • nursing and midwifery
  • mental health
  • migration

The Global Task Force for Strengthening Nursing and Midwifery Services

The Task Force on Nursing and Midwifery is a technical group created by the Global Advisory Group on Nursing and Midwifery (GAGNM) to:

  • assist with the implementation of the recommendations generated at the GAGNM meeting, and
  • mobilize resources to support the programme implementation.

Members of the Task Force include three representatives from the GAGNM and two representatives from the nursing and midwifery stakeholders group.


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