Reenergizing Nurses for Global Health Care

Pennie Sessler Branden, PhD, FACNM, CNM, CNE, RN


Nurs Econ. 2020;38(1):46-50. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Nursing, an ever-challenging and rewarding career, has many avenues for developing nurse advocacy for global health. Becoming a liaison to the United Nations for Sigma is one road to make a difference locally and globally.


"Nurses respond to the health needs of people in all settings and throughout the lifespan. Their roles are critical in achieving global mandates such as universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals."
– Dr. Margaret Chan, Former Director General, World Health Organization

In July 2012, Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society (Sigma) was granted Special Consultative Status to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. There are six principal organs of the United Nations, including the General Assembly, Security Council, ECOSOC, Trusteeship Council, International Court of Justice, and the UN Secretariat (United Nations, n.d.).

At the United Nations, ECOSOC is the central platform for debate and innovative thinking about sustainable development. The Council coordinates and reviews policies and makes recommendations on global subjects of economic, environmental, and social importance. Consultative status recognizes Sigma's expertise in nursing and global health. It also recognizes Sigma's commitment to the UN Charter, which solidifies the joint efforts of member states to bring about international cooperation to solve global humanitarian issues (United Nations, 1945). This status allows "Sigma greater privileges, access to nearly all intergovernmental processes at the UN dealing with economic and social development" – including health and gender issues, sustainable development, and human rights – and allows Sigma to participate on UN committees and to have a "voice" at the UN (Sigma, 2020, para. 2).