NEWS
10th Mar 2011

WHO Strategic Directions for strengthening Nursing and Midwifery Services

This document presents the newly updated strategic directions for strengthening nursing and midwifery services (SDNM) for the period 2011-2015.

Complementing and building on the 2002-2008 SDNM, it seeks to provide policy- makers, practitioners and other stakeholders at every level with a flexible framework for broad-based, collaborative action to enhance the capacity of nurses and midwives to contribute to:

  • universal coverage
  • people-centred health care
  • policies affecting their practice and working conditions, and the
  • scaling up of national health systems to meet global goals and targets.


The SDNM for 2011-2015 draws on several key World Health Assembly resolutions, and are underpinned by the associated global policy recommendations and codes of practice.(1,2) After two years of extensive research and consultation, a SDNM task force was developed, and a consensus on a range of specific activities revolving around 13 objectives in five interrelated key results areas (KRAs), was achieved:

  • health system and service strengthening
  • policy and practice
  • education, training and career development
  • workforce management and
  • partnership.


Stakeholders, although free to prioritize certain parts of the framework to meet their own particular needs, are encouraged to adhere to the cornerstone of collaborative action, namely the common goal enshrined in the core SDNM 2011-2015 vision statement:
Improved health outcomes for individuals, families and communities through the provision of competent, culturally sensitive, evidence-based nursing and midwifery services.


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