It is a great honor to begin my 3-year term as President of the International Federation of Perioperative Nurses (IFPN). My involvement in the Federation first started when I was a board member in 2009 representing the United States, and I have continued to serve in various roles including Ambassador (strategic planning and membership) and 2 terms as Treasurer.
IFPN has a 22-year rich history of thought leaders who have served before me and I will ensure continuity with the past and continue to drive our profession into future by an increased focus on the future of health and our workforce.
I would like to personally thank Past-President Mona Guckian-Fisher for her leadership in advancing the mission of IFPN, especially with the International Council of Nursing (ICN) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The last three years under Past-President Guckian-Fisher have seen a significant increase in our influence internationally and membership growth to the point that we now represent over 500,000 perioperative nurses globally.
As we enter the end of year two of the pandemic, Perioperative Nurses have been challenged in many ways we could never have imagined. Some of the challenges we have experienced globally include:
- Stopping and starting our elective surgical cases
- Long wait list and access to the theatre schedule
- Converting our Operating Theatres and Recovery Rooms into COVID Units
- Working in areas outside of our clinical competency
- Supporting hospital staff with management, and use of PPE
As a result, we have seen the emotional and physical toll the pandemic has had on our fellow nurses resulting in turnover of staff and nurses leaving the profession. The International Council of Nursing reported that prior to the pandemic there would be a shortfall of 6 million nurses by 2030. Since the pandemic they have adjusted their projections to now be a 28 million gap globally. This will have serious implications on providing access to all individuals in need of surgical intervention and our ability to meet this demand globally.
Individually none of us have all the answers on how to address these challenges but as a global board of directors representing the Pacific Islands, Asia, South East Asia, Europe, Middle East and the Americas, we will come together with solutions and a way forward for Perioperative Nursing and our patients.
I look forward to working with each of you along this journey and with the newly elected executive team of Meryem Yavuz van Giersbergen as IFPN Secretary (Turkey) and May Karam as IFPN Treasurer (France/EORNA). As your executive team we are here to serve you the membership and to advance the profession.
Patrick Voight RN, MSA, BSN, CNOR
IFPN President (2022-2024)