Working Conditions for Nurses
Improved working conditions and work environments are the utmost concern of nurses in the clinical settings. The positive work conditions and environments are the foundations for safe and reliable healthcare. One of the JNA missions is “Promoting to create the environment in which nurses are able to continue working peacefully throughout their life.” To enable nurses to keep on working, we focus on priorities such as promoting work-life balance, improving working hours, pay, and occupational health and safety.
- Basic education
JNA believes that basic nursing education is absolutely crucial, as one of the cornerstones for professional nurses. To provide high quality individual nursing care to the people in Japan in coming years, basic nursing education should include both liberal arts and scientific professional subjects. We may attain such quality education only through four-year university courses. The Japanese people also have high expectations for public health nurses and midwives, so we need to provide graduate education that will live up to those expectations. To these ends, we urges the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and other government agencies to ensure adequate education for nursing professionals.
- Continuing education (CE)
- CE courses
We plan and organize CE courses at two locations, in Tokyo and Kobe. The courses we provide is designed to improve essential knowledge and technical skills for nursing practice, administration and education, and ranges from one-day short courses to a full 32-day curriculum. To offer more opportunities, we have also introduced courses streamed in real time over the Internet and training via satellite communication.
- Academic conferences
We organize the Conferences of the Japan Society of Nursing in collaboration with the prefectural nursing associations to give the members opportunities to present the practice-based research findings and to provide settings for the members to learn from one another through discussions and other such activities. In conferences taking place all over Japan and in different specialized areas, over 10,000 people take part every year.
- CE courses
- Patient safety
We provide patient safety consultation services, post the latest information on the JNA website and engage in various other activities aimed at providing safe and reliable medical and nursing care for all.
- Database services
We are developing the database project in an effort to improve work environments for nurses and the quality of nursing. This project intends to contribute to the management of nurse administrators and also utilize it for our policy recommendations.
- Promotion of the role expansion of nurses
As the demand for healthcare continues to increase rapidly due to Japan’s super-aging society, we will need to provide care more effectively and efficiently in the future, in order to sustain the healthcare system as a whole. The government of Japan is undergoing a fundamental review of the health care delivery system, where nurses will be expected to perform their roles to the fullest extent. Discussion is underway on a system that enables specially trained nurses to perform a certain kinds of medical interventions together with nursing care so that they may better fulfill the patients’ needs. We are trying to get such a system enshrined in law, in order to protect the safety of patients and nurses, and to enable nurses to make the most of their expertise.
- Dementia Care
Japanese Nursing Association published “The Guidebook for Dementia Care” in 2016. As a professional organization of nurses, we decided to create the primer of fundamentals for all the nurses involved in dementia care. Japan will experience an unprecedented super-aging society in the world with all the baby boomers turning age 75 years and over in 2025. Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare estimates the number of people with dementia in Japan will reach over seven million in 2025. JNA believes that it is required to support all the nurses to prepare for expertise and skills on dementia care as well as promoting current effort to develop dementia care specialists. This guidebook is targeted for all nurses including those who provide care for people with dementia for the first time, those who are struggling for better outcome and nurse leaders responsible for creating a care system in their practice settings.
Home Healthcare and Long-term Nursing Care
We are expecting to see an increase in the number of people requiring high-level long-term nursing care and elderly people with dementia in the near future. Nursing is set to play an increasingly important role as a result, especially in the area of home based care and long-term nursing care. We urgently need to create a framework that is capable of sustaining home based care on a long-term and continuous basis, even for patients requiring a high level of care or whose families are unable to meet the needs of care. We are keen to promote a new type of combined service that includes home-visit nursing in addition to day services, short-term stay and home visit long-term care services, and are working to strengthen nursing functions in both home-visit nursing and long-term care facilities.
Public Health Nurses
In Japan, public health nursing activities are addressed at the local level by nurses who are qualified as “public health nurses”.
Fragmentation and separation of health and welfare administrations has created a system where public health nurses are allocated dispersedly and/ or in task-oriented ways. This has been criticized for having an adverse effect on the activities of public health nurses. There is also a risk that this could undermine the competency of public health nurses, in terms of their ability to effectively handle the increasingly difficult, wide-ranging and complex issues they face at the local level. In an effort to improve this situation, we are working to establish a concrete framework for public health nurses’ activities and to strengthen their capacities.
As the number of childbirth facilities continues to fall, improvement of a safe and secure environment for local childbirth services is becoming an urgent priority. JNA works to redress the uneven distribution of the workplaces of midwives and strengthen the competency of midwife, to ensure that all expectant mothers and newborn babies receive the highest quality of care. For more details, please see the “Midwifery in Japan” section.
We are involved in a wide range of international activities, including dissemination of information about Japanese nursing to other countries, exchange activities with the member associations of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) and the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), and organizing the Japan-China-Korea Nursing Conference in conjunction with nursing associations in all three countries.
2023ICN Congress in Montreal：The Japanese Nursing Association held a National Nurses Association (NNA) symposium as follows.
Overview：Japan is in a leading position in early achievement and maintenance of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). By sharing the experience of Japan, a country with advanced UHC issues, we aim to help strengthen nursing leadership in both practice and policy around the world
In Japan, there are three nursing professions: public health nurses, midwives, and nurses. We would like to share their roles and how each of the three professions have worked together to address the challenges of UHC.
・Date and time: Sunday, July 2, 13:00-14:00 (60 minutes)
・Title: JNA's challenge to strengthen UHC in Japan and enhance nursing capacity in community: from the perspective of public health nurses, midwives, and nurses
・Moderator: Yukari NAKANO, Executive Officer
・Speakers (in order of presentation)
Hiroe TAKAHASHI, President
Miho HASHIMOTO, Director, Professional Services Bureau
Sachi SAKATA, Public Health Nurses Division, Department of Health Promotion Policy
Masayo KOBAYASHI, Chief, Midwives Division, Department of Health Promotion Policy
Nursing Now Campaign
Japanese Nursing Association (JNA) and Japan Nursing Federation (JNF) started our collaborative activities on Nursing Now in February 2019. We uphold the theme of “Creating Healthy Society through the Power of Nursing” and run a campaign in Japan.
In Japan, the Government promotes the reform of social security system in response to change in demographic and disease structures due to society of super aging and fewer children. The healthcare system in Japan is greatly changing. This is the shift to community based integrated care system combining healthcare, long-term care and livelihood. Currently, nurses provide care to people living with diseases and disabilities at the site of livelihood, provide care to patients in hospital for treatment and cure, and conduct health promotion activities with community uch as preventing diseases and long-term care. In addition to these roles, nurses are expected to link livelihood to healthcare and social welfare, and to contribute to the creation of healthy society which underpins the livelihood of people living in communities. To take these expected roles and meet the needs of society, some conditions have to be in place such as expansion of nursing education, establishment of healthy working environment which enables nurses to continue working and expansion of the role of nurses to provide care safely and efficiently.
Japanese Nursing Association set our priority policies to tackle these challenges; Promotion of reform of the basic nursing education system; Establishment of a system for nursing service provision in the community based integrated care system; Promotion of work style reform for nurses; and Promotion of the role expansion of nurses and development of human resources for nursing.
The idea of Nursing Now is consistent with our efforts and direction. Maximizing the potential of nurses to perform well in the community based integrated care system will lead to healthy society. To be more involved in the policy development and decision making, it is vital to have more nurses in leadership position. Political power is also required to attain our policy including the establishment of a new system and the amendment of the law. We’d like to run Nursing Now campaign in Japan to heighten the momentum toward meeting social needs with a unified voice of nurses.
Nursing Now Nippon Declaration
The Nursing Now Forum in Japan examined the importance of evidence in policymaking, community activities, and disaster preparedness, response and recovery. It reaffirmed that, regardless of social circumstances, nurses have the power to contribute not only to the health of individual people but also to the fostering of community health culture and to the development of society in general. The activities and practices of nurses are key to the achievement of the global targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Recognizing that nurses need to make more active use of their skills and expertise, we hereby declare that we will continue to work together as follows:
- We will contribute even more than ever to the creation of healthy communities and societies, and to the realization of safe, secure, and healthy lifestyles for all people throughout the lifespan;
- We will participate in the decision-making process to promote the respective transformations from policy to practice to enable nurses to meet social needs and maximize their abilities in all settings;
- We will endeavour to accumulate a broad spectrum of evidence to contribute to better decision-making based on the best available evidence, and;
- We will share Japan’s efforts and achievements with the world, striving to achieve the global SDG targets and the improvement of the health of people around the world.
February, 2021【Nursing Now Forum in Japan】
We posted the video recording of the Nursing Now Forum in Japan held on January 21, 2021.
Please visit our YouTube channel.
Nightingale Challenge Videos
Since December 2020, the Japanese Nursing Association (JNA) has participated in the Nightingale Challenge, a part of the global Nursing Now campaign, which became the “Nursing Now Challenge” in June 2021. In this challenge, JNA focused on encouraging young nurses to get involved in policymaking, strengthen their leadership, and perform to their full potential in various settings.
We created interview video clips with experts including global health experts, professors, and members of the Diet who play active roles internationally. They provide practical advice based on their own experiences, such as "what made you interested in policy," "interesting and challenging parts of policy engagement," and "significance of nurse’s engagement in policymaking.”
- The affiliation and job title of the video speaker are the ones at the time of shooting.
Japanese Nursing Association
Graduate School of Nursing,
Member of the House of Councillors
School of Nursing,
Seirei Christopher University
Experts outside nursing
Takeshi Kasai, MD
Regional Director for the Western Pacific
World Health Organization (WHO)
Yasuhide Nakamura, MD
Faculty of Nursing and Rehabilitation,
Konan Women's University,
National Institute of Population and Social Security Research
Member of the House of Councillors
- Nursing Day
May 12 is “Nursing Day” in Japan. The week containing May 12, from Sunday to Saturday, is also set aside as “Nursing Week”. In order to underpin our aging society in the 21st century, we all need to share the same spirit of nursing, caring and helping one another. In an effort to instill that same spirit in people throughout the society, whether male or female, old or young, Nursing Day was established in 1990. Activities include nursing experiences and school visits by nurses who provide the classes emphasizing the preciousness of life and the spirit of nursing.
- Short videos introducing nurses’work
On the Japanese version of the JNA website, we have posted short videos for junior and senior high school students, showing the various ways in which nurses, public health nurses and midwives make a real difference at the various settings.
Disaster Relief Activities
- Disaster relief nurses
Japan’s geography, topography and natural climate make it susceptible to typhoons, torrential rains, heavy snowfall, earthquakes and other natural disasters. Ever since the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake claimed the lives of over 6,000 people in January 1995, we have established a disaster relief network system with prefectural nursing associations. The system is designed so that disaster relief nurses registered with prefectural nursing associations can be dispatched to disaster-stricken areas at the request of the local nursing association in the area. We conduct support activities in line with the scale of the disaster, such as (i) support activities within the prefecture, (ii) support activities from neighboring prefectures or (iii) support activities on a national scale. To ensure that we are prepared to carry out relief activities on a national scale, we organize joint emergency drills in partnership with prefectural nursing associations every year, to practice dispatching and coordinating disaster relief nurses.
The Great East Japan Earthquake, which hit with a magnitude of 9.0 on March 11, 2011 and triggered a massive tsunami, left countless victims in its wake. A total of 938 disaster relief nurses were dispatched during the two-month period after the earthquake, with the overall number dispatches totaling 3,770.For more details of JNA’s activities following the Great East Japan Earthquake.
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