February 28, 2022

Nursing Organizations Worldwide Release Statements in Support of Nurses in Ukraine

Nursing Organizations Worldwide Release Statements in Support of Nurses in Ukraine

The world is hurting right now. 

In the midst of the ongoing attack on Ukraine, nursing associations, unions, and organizations around the world have issued statements condemning the ongoing violence by Russian forces on the Ukrainian people.

Bombs could be heard throughout the night in various parts of the country as Vladimir Putin calls on the military to overthrow the government and fight for new land borders that have been in contention since the Cold War. As the fighting rages on - hospitals have been forced to move patients to bomb shelters, subways, and others have no feasible options and are sheltering in place. Nurses and doctors are staying to care for the sick and dying as hundreds have been injured as a direct result of the fighting. 

More than 50,000 Ukrainians have fled the country so far, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, said on Friday, and the agency believes as many as 100,000 have been displaced. More than 26,000 have fled Ukraine into Moldova, 29,000 have traveled by land to Poland, and a further 10,000 into Romania. 

Profound Images

On Thursday, February 24th the New York Times published the dramatic footage of a make-shift Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in a lower level bomb shelter at the children’s hospital in Dnipro. Nurses can be seen sitting on the ground hand bagging intubated patients and micro-preemies wrapped in blankets to maintain body temperature. While the one nurse can be seen smiling, the determination and dedication is unwavering to the world's tiniest patients. 

“This is the NICU. In a bomb shelter. Can you imagine?” Dr. Denis Surkov, chief of the neonatal unit, at Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Children’s Clinical Hospital, told the New York Times in a WhatsApp message. “This is our reality.”

Image: New York Times Instagram

Official Statements

As the conflict in Ukraine rages on, nursing organizations around the world have spoken out in support of their colleagues on the frontlines in Ukraine. 

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) and its more than 130 members across the world stand in solidarity with the people, nurses and all healthcare workers caught up in the conflict in Ukraine. The ICN goes on to say, “ ICN says the protection and safety of nurses and all health workers is paramount. Any attack or targeting of health workers or health facilities goes against the protection of health workers enshrined in international regulations and the Geneva Convention and is an affront against humanity.”

ICN President Pamela Cipriano said, “We are extremely concerned about the situation in Ukraine and our hearts go out to all the people caught up in the conflict, including our nurses and all health workers who once again find themselves on the frontlines of another humanitarian crisis.”

ICN CEO Howard Catton added, “We are deeply concerned about the situation on the ground in Ukraine and have reached out to our nursing colleagues in the country in what are hugely chaotic and frightening circumstances. We will continue to try to connect with them and get their messages out to the world.”

The National Nurses Union, the largest nursing union in the United States issues the following statement:  “Any invasion of another sovereign nation is a crime against humanity that always threatens to lead to an incalculable loss of lives and other long-term health consequences for the people of that nation,” said National Nurses Union (NNU) President Zenei Triunfo-Cortez, RN. “As nurses, we know that war and all the suffering it produces are human calamities that are not justifiable and must end.”

“The danger of even greater escalation – which potentially involves the two largest nuclear-armed nations in the world – is particularly chilling,” Triunfo-Cortez said. “That threat should further impel all parties involved to seek a peaceful, diplomatic solution to this crisis immediately.”

The President of the Russian Nurses Association, Valentina Sarkisova has shared this message with ICN:

“Russian Nurses Association with all nurses of the World are extremely concerned for their neighboring closest colleagues. Politics is far from nursing, and armed conflicts are opposite to the main designation of our profession. There are no other professions that cherish life and health as much as nurses. Together with the whole world, we hope for a rapid resolution of all conflicts and a return to a normal and peaceful life. We do believe that no political confrontation can affect the mission of nursing. With all the passion we wish no more lives be lost, and all nurses be back to their peaceful duties in safe and secure environment.”

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