Introducing the Nightingale Initiative for Global Health (NIGH).

A healthy world for all peoples is envisioned by the Nightingale Initiative for Global Health (NIGH).

NIGH seeks to achieve a healthy world by:

  • Enabling peoples of the United Nations, as citizens of its Member States, to work together in a worldwide campaign for health as the top global priority;
  • Enlisting nurses and other health care workers and educators to work together effectively - and to collaborate with others of like-mind, heart and spirit- in mobilizing public opinion to this purpose;
  • Encouraging individual initiative and cooperative action toward these ends by highlighting the life of Florence Nightingale and the lives of other nurses and health care workers-past and present-who have devoted themselves to building a healthy world.


  • To build a grassroots movement among nurses, health care workers, educators and other global citizens-from every country and community-who will work together to inform, educate and mobilize public opinion throughout the world towards the adoption of health as the universal priority of the United Nations and its Member States;
  • To use communications, media and promotional tools for advocacy of these ends;
  • To identify, share and actively encourage 'approaches that work' to create a healthy world;
  • To contribute positive solutions to the worldwide nursing shortage.

Initial Strategies
To create real programs from the above vision, mission and goals, we are developing and implementing several initial inter-related strategies. These include:

  1. Preparing for two United Nations General Assembly Resolutions to be voted upon in 2007:
    • the United Nations International Year of the Nurse in 2010 (the Centennial of Nightingale's death) and
    • the United Nations Decade for a Healthy World, 2010-2020 (the Bicentennial of Nightingale's birth).
  2. Empowering nurses around the world as leaders of a grassroots global campaign to circulate "The Nightingale Declaration for Our Healthy World" as a universal Signature Campaign to be organized for early 2007. (The draft text of the Declaration is included below).
  3. Convening key NIGH consultations in the United States, Canada and Europe, including London, Geneva, Copenhagen, Oslo, and Helsinki, with potential collaborators from Asia, Africa, the South Pacific, Central and South America and the Middle East, as well as those from the U.S. and Canada.
  4. Establishing sites and contact-persons for the initial network of regional NIGH Communities around the world, creating related NIGH Resources Files.
  5. Developing and implementing-in collaboration with the American Nurses Association-an overall international marketing and distribution strategy (including foreign-language translations) for the newly-released book, Florence Nightingale Today: Healing, Leadership, Global Action, co-authored by NIGH Board Members Barbara M. Dossey, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, and Deva-Marie Beck, PhD, RN, as well as by Nightingale scholars, Louise C. Selanders, EdD, RN and Alex Attewell, the Director of the Florence Nightingale Museum; with a Foreword by Baroness Caroline Cox, a nurse Member of the British House of Lords. This book can now be purchased at
  6. Designing, publishing and circulating a print tabloid titled THE GLOBAL CITIZEN to establish an ongoing worldwide circulation to highlight major world health issues, key aspects of the NIGH plans and news of exemplary 'local best practices that create a healthy world. This publication will focus on informing journalists and media professionals about global health issues in the context of what is already being accomplished by nurses, as well as by international Service Clubs such as Rotary International.
  7. Developing an interactive internet presence where nurses can connect and collaborate with each other around the world. Featured components will include links to co-sponsors and collaborators from a variety of disciplines and perspectives. Current initial website resides at
  8. Collaborating with regional networks of the American Holistic Nurses' Association and similar organizations for regional on-site workshops and education outreach across North America. The theme of these workshops is our Care for the Caregivers™ Series, which focuses on contributing to recreating and sustaining a culture of caring within American, Canadian and international health care systems.
  9. Preparing to convene the first international conference of NIGH, as early as late 2005, proposed site, Nairobi, Kenya:
    • to focus on global health issues in the African context,
    • to specifically enable nursing students from around the world to return with communication skills in print and broadcast media, public speaking, networking and promotional advocacy a well as group leadership;
    • to establish worldwide video-conferencing capacity.
  10. Collaborating-with regional media and journalist professionals and educators-to empower nurses and student nurses with communication skills in print and broadcast media, public speaking, networking and promotional advocacy as well as group leadership. Initial pilot regions identified include Southern West Virginia, Metropolitan Washington, D.C. and Eastern Ontario.
  11. Implementing plans for a major "Global Forum on Healthy Communities" to feature 'approaches that work' to create a healthy world, to include world-wide video conferencing capacity.
  12. Participating, through featured presentations and exhibits, in national and international conferences, including, in 2005: International Council of Nurses, May in Taipei; Rotary International Centennial Celebration, June, in Chicago; American Holistic Nurses' Association, June in Philadelphia.

Staying Updated about NIGH
The NIGH idea was birthed in November 2003-through discussions among four Nightingale Scholars. They further collaborated with their colleagues with extensive experience in nursing education, in international media and development fields, as well as in business, education and medicine. While the above range of experience is a good way to birth such an idea, we are also clear that the only way NIGH can successfully grow-at any level of this vision-is with the enthusiastic participation of many people with a variety of talents and disciplines, across the globe. From the very beginning of these endeavors, we are encouraging the start-up of NIGH Communities throughout the world as soon as initial contact persons who wish to join this project are identified.

Wherever you are in the world, we welcome you to join in these endeavors. To discuss the possibilities, please call us, leave a voice mail message detailing your name, phone number and the best times to reach you and we will call you to discuss a range of possibilities. As of October 2004, our start-up office phone numbers are: in Canada (613) 990-1114 (Global Forum and NIGH [International]), and in the United States, (703) 892-6665 at NIGH [USA]. To begin the launch of this project, these two initial organizations have been formed, NIGH [International], based in Ottawa, Canada and NIGH [USA], based in Washington, D.C.

We are also, of course, developing and submitting official funding proposals and gathering support from a wide range of people, organizations and places. Any and all financial and resource support that you might be able to share will be much appreciated!

To obtain regular updates regarding the progress of the NIGH and to contact us by email, check our website at

If you wish to be on our print mailing list, send us a postcard with your name and full mailing address to:

NIGH International at the Global Forum
347 Croil Street,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1V 1J4.

These above addresses and numbers will be updated from time to time, and we will be adding additional contact information and phone numbers as new NIGH Communities are established around the world. Be sure to check our website for current information.

"The Nightingale Declaration for Our Healthy World"
The following is NIGH's draft of "The Nightingale Declaration for Our Healthy World" which is being developed to be circulated and signed by millions of nurses, health care professionals, and other caregivers across the world in 2007, well in advance of the proposed United Nations General Assembly Resolutions for an International Year of the Nurse in 2010 and a United Nations Decade for a Healthy World, 2010-2020.

We, the nurses, health workers and caregivers of the world, as peoples of the United Nations and citizens of its Member States, hereby dedicate ourselves to the accomplishment of a healthy world by the year 2020. We declare our willingness to unite in a program of action, sharing information and solutions to resolve problems and improve conditions-locally, nationally and globally-in order to achieve health for all humanity. We further resolve to adopt personal practices and to implement public policies in our communities and nations, making this goal for the year 2020 achievable and inevitable, beginning today in our own lives, in the life of our nations and in the world at large.

For more information about NIGH contact:
Deva-Marie Beck, PhD, RN
NIGH International Director
Ottawa, Canada
Barbara Dossey, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, FAAN
NIGH International Director
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Eleanor Kibrick, MSc
NIGH Program Director
Arlington, Virginia
Wayne Kines
NIGH Director of Communication
Global Forum and World Media Institute
Ottawa, Canada

Please be sure to visit our website at


Biography | Lecture Topics | Books
Appearances | Contact Info