The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) has paid tribute to the “outstanding” support given by Queen Elizabeth II to both the charity and the profession, following the news of her death.
Those at the organisation said they were “deeply saddened” by the loss of its royal patron and assured that Queen’s Nurses would continue to work in Her Majesty’s name.
“It is with a huge sense of gratitude and respect that we remember the leadership and wisdom of the Queen”
The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral, aged 96, on Thursday afternoon.
Her son, now King Charles III said the death of his beloved mother was “a moment of great sadness” for him and his family and that her loss would be “deeply felt” throughout the country and around the world.
The Queen was the UK’s longest-serving monarch, and this year marked her 70-year reign during the Platinum Jubilee.
Nursing Times marked the jubilee by speaking with seven nurses who qualified at varying times during her rule.
The Queen became patron of the QNI in 2002, following the patronage of the Queen Mother.
She was the fifth royal patron of the QNI since its foundation by Queen Victoria in 1887.
In 2007, the title of the Queen’s Nurse was reintroduced in England, Wales and Northern Ireland after an almost 40-year absence, thanks to Her Majesty. The title was reintroduced in Scotland in 2017.
Nurses receiving the title would previously have their award signed by Her Majesty, on completion of the programme.
In a statement published last night, the QNI sent its “heartfelt condolences” to the Royal Family.
“It is with a huge sense of gratitude and respect that we remember the leadership and wisdom of the Queen in so many areas of national life,” it said.
“The Queen’s Nursing Institute, and Queen’s Nurses, are inextricably linked to the Queen as our royal Patron.”
The statement added: “Queen’s Nurses have worked in her name, as a great supporter of nursing and healthcare throughout her long reign.
“They will continue to work in the name of Her Majesty the Queen and each and every one of our Queen’s Nurses is deeply saddened by the death of our beloved Royal Patron.”
“Her support of the QNI and nurses everywhere has been outstanding”
Her Majesty’s support in reintroducing the Queen’s Nurse title had “led to such a growth in the appreciation and understanding of the work of community nurses in promoting the health and wellbeing in people of all ages and backgrounds in every part of the UK”, it said.
Meanwhile, QNI chief executive Dr Crystal Oldman, echoed that the team were “deeply saddened” to hear of the death of its royal patron.
On social media site Twitter, Dr Oldman wrote: “Her support of the QNI and nurses everywhere has been outstanding.”
The Queen’s Nursing Institute in Scotland (QNIS), which runs separately to the QNI, also paid tribute to the Queen.
Clare Cable, QNIS chief executive and nurse director, said trustees and staff “would like to express their sadness at the death of QNIS’ patron, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II”.
“Her Majesty welcomed the reintroduction of the Queen’s Nurse title to Scotland in 2017 and graciously signed every Queen’s Nurse Certificate since, 130 in total,” she added.
Having this signature was “a mark of the value she placed on nursing and midwifery and was deeply appreciated by every recipient”, said Ms Cable.
“We will be forever grateful for Her Majesty’s support and today we join with so many others in expressing our sorrow at her passing”
“We will be forever grateful for Her Majesty’s support and today we join with so many other organisations and individuals in expressing our sorrow at her passing. We extend our condolences to The Royal Family,” she added.
Queen’s Nurses have also taken to social media to pay their respects to the Queen and have vowed to continue to wear their badges with pride.
One wrote on Twitter that being awarded the title was “one of the proudest moments of my life” and that having the Queen’s signature on their award will be “something I treasure forever”.
Another said they were feeling “so proud this morning, but with a heavy heart”. They said they would wear their Queen’s Nurse award “with pride” and also felt “very honoured” to have Her Majesty’s signature.
Another described feeling “utterly devastated” by Her Majesty’s death and said they were “incredibly proud to be a Queen’s Nurse”.
Tributes from across the wider profession continue to pour in for the Queen, as colleagues highlight the way she “tirelessly championed nurses and nursing issues”.