First up, happy International Nurses Day from myself and all at Nursing Times! You are brilliant and this is your space to reflect on that and for us to recognise it.
As nurses celebrate International Nurses Day around the world on 12 May, the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, there are many challenges facing the profession.
“While nurses and nursing around the world needs support, I have been struck particularly this week with the positivity and achievements of the profession”
This year the International Council of Nurses (ICN) has set the theme of the day as “Our Nurses. Our Future” in recognition of what nursing needs now and in the future to address global health issues.
To chime with this, it has today launched a campaign with the same name, which includes a 10-point “charter for change”.
It sets out actions that governments and employers must take if they are to create and sustain systems that are safe, affordable, accessible, responsive, and resilient, highlighting that nurses are invaluable.
For example, to protect and invest in the nursing profession, to develop, implement and finance national nursing workforce plans and to enable nurses to work to their full scope of nursing practice.
The ICN, a federation of 130 national nurses’ associations, has also called on people to remember the many tens of thousands of nurses and other healthcare workers who lost their lives to Covid-19.
While nurses and nursing around the world needs support, I have been struck particularly this week with the positivity and achievements of the profession, as I have been out and about.
On Wednesday, I was at an event to celebrate 18 independent sector nurses who are leading programmes on sustainability, organised by the Florence Nightingale Foundation and Nuffield Health.
There were some great ideas on display and it proved once again what a force for good that nurses are, whether they are involved in giving direct care or managing, innovating or reforming services.
Similarly, I attended the Burdett Nursing Awards on Thursday, where again I was struck by the mix of passion and practicality with which nursing identifies and tackles a problem in health and social care.
The overall winner from the six award categories – all of the finalists were brilliant by the way – was the Inclusion Health Team at Children and Family Health Surrey.
This team provides accessible healthcare to groups who are vulnerable and have some of the worst health outcomes, including travellers, migrants and homeless people by providing outreach services.
Such a great service that it is right to shine a light on. But nurses everywhere and in every setting are making a hugely valuable impact in what they are doing, all of which needs proper recognition.
I would also like to remind everyone that the Nursing Times Awards are also still open for entries, with an extension soon to be confirmed, so please tell us about the great work you are doing.
Next week there will be another chance to celebrate nurses and International Nurses Day with the annual Florence Nightingale commemoration service at St Paul’s Cathedral.
Normally held at Westminster Abbey, the service will this year be held at St Paul’s due to the coronation having taken place at the abbey on Saturday.
With the coronation in mind, wasn’t it great to see nursing legend Dame Elizabeth Anionwu play such a leading role in the ceremony by carrying the sovereign’s orb.
I’ll leave the last word to Lisa Gavin, clinical service manager with the Surrey Inclusion Health Team, who told those at the awards ceremony: “Nursing is an extraordinary opportunity to change lives.”
From what I’ve seen over the last week, as well as the years that I’ve had the lucky opportunity to write about nurses and nursing, this is undoubtedly true. Once again, happy nurses’ day.