Nurses are an essential element in the delivery of quality primary health care. 48% of the world’s population live in rural areas but only 38% of nurses work there. Nurses need to step up to take a leadership role in rural health, working in partnership with other health care professionals.
Research and data are crucial to inform policy makers and educators in order to develop effective rural healthcare systems. The Albuquerque Statement was developed through consensus at the 16th WONCA World Rural Health Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico (October 2019).
The statement puts nursing at the forefront of rural healthcare and this is demonstrated through a special edition on Rural Heath in the Journal of Research in Nursing, co-edited by USW's Professor Joyce Kenkre.
"Nurses have a pivotal role to play as team members in the provision of rural healthcare. This focus edition aims to emphasise the importance of rural nursing care and some of the exciting innovations happening around the world," says Professor Kenkre.
"As members of Rural WONCA Council we want to promote rural nursing as a positive career choice and to create an environment and dialogue to make this happen. Rural WONCA welcomes collaboration with nurses to improve rural healthcare globally," she continued.
USW's Professor Kenkre is a council member on the rural working party of the World Organisation of Family Doctors (WONCA) which represents family doctors/general practitioners globally, and contributed to the World Health Organisation's The State of the World’s Nursing Report 2020 highlighting the crucial role of nurses and midwives in rural areas and the need for research to improve the evidence base for practice.