Nurses around the country and across the globe celebrated International Nurses’ Day on Sunday, as they do every year on the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birthday.
This year’s overall theme, set by the International Council of Nurses, was Nurses: A Voice to Lead Health for All, and focused on the need for nurses to become more active and vocal in policy development and implementation.
At a more local level, from bake sales to workplace parties and awards ceremonies, nurses across the country were honoured and celebrated for their hard work and dedication.
- Nurses gearing up to celebrate International Nurses’ Day
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Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust kicked off its festivities with a visit from NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens, who spoke to nurses and midwives about working at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and supporting the trust’s patients.
“The enthusiasm of the nurses and midwifes I chatted with, and their dedication to their patients, remind all of us why we have so much to be thankful for. International Nurses’ Day is a chance to say thank you and to reconnect to giving our nurses the backing they need for the future,” he said.
Other activities were held across the trust to mark the occasion, including guided tours of the artworks at St Thomas’ Hospital, interactive stands from the trust’s nursing team and a performance about the life of Florence Nightingale, who established her first nursing school at St Thomas’ Hospital in 1859.
In addition, the trust held a special awards ceremony to celebrate the recipients of the Nightingale Nurse Award, a professional award for its most outstanding nurses and midwives.
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The latest batch of the awards were co-presented by chief nursing officer for England, Dr Ruth May.
Winners of the trust’s annual Nursing and Midwifery Awards were also announced on the day.
The ceremony featured performances from the B Positive NHS Blood Donation choir, who were contestants on the last series of Britain’s Got Talent.
“Being a nurse is important to me as I love to help people”
University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust also held an awards ceremony to mark International Nurses’ Day.
The event saw nine winners in categories including patient feedback, embedding clinical research and the director of nursing award for outstanding contribution.
The latter was presented to Begona Jimenez, orbital and oculoplastics nurse practitioner, for “revolutionising” the trust’s eyelid and eye socket surgery service over the period of 12 months.
“It is always a pleasure to celebrate the fantastic work and achievements of our nursing, midwifery and healthcare support staff and all of our nominees and winners should be extremely proud,” said Gail Byrne, director of nursing and organisational development at Southampton.
At a conference also held in honour of International Nurses’ Day 2019, nearby Solent NHS Trust announced the winner of its inaugural Nurse of the Year Award, which was created to give staff and patients the opportunity to recognise outstanding nurses in their community.
Source: Solent NHS Trust
Vanessa Bull, a learning disability nurse based at Southampton Civic Offices, was selected from a short list of 11 and presented with the award at the trust’s Celebrating Nursing conference.
She was described by her colleagues as someone who always goes the extra mile and is truly passionate about her role in giving the best care and support to disabled children and their families
On receiving the award, Ms Bull said: “It was very unexpected, but it was lovely to win the award. All the nominees were amazing and everyone does such a fantastic job so it makes the award extra special.”
Meanwhile, residents at a North East care home thanked their nurses and management staff with handmade cards and boxes of chocolate.
The Oaks celebrate International Nurses’ Day
Clare Robson, deputy manager at the Oaks Care Home in Blyth, Northumberland, said: “I have never received a gift for Nurses’ Day, so it was lovely to be recognised for my job.”
“Being a nurse is important to me as I love to help people. I am passionate about ensuring that everyone is cared for with dignity in a person-centred way, especially those at end of life,” she said.
International Nurses Day was also celebrated at the Beeches Care Home on Green Lane, Stockton-On-Tees, where district nurses and community matrons who visit the home were recognised with afternoon tea.
In addition, hospice staff at Marie Curie in Bradford received hundreds of treats as a thank you from James Hall & Co, SPAR UK wholesaler for the North of England.
Nicola Denbow, lead nurse at the Marie Curie Bradford, said: “It’s such a lovely gesture from SPAR to gift us all these goodies.
“Our job can be very demanding, both emotionally and physically, so every cup of tea or coffee, and a biscuit shared with a colleague helps,” she said.
Nurses at Morris Care Nursing Homes in Shropshire and Cheshire were acknowledged with flower bouquets and thank you notes from director Timothy Morris.
Sue Austin, Morris Care chief operating officer, said: “We are immensely proud of our caring, skilled nurses who do so much to ensure our residents live the best life possible.
“Their dedication, patience and affection are a testament to the profession,” she said. “The flowers help us to show our appreciation on this special day for the care they deliver and the support they give to families and colleagues.”
Volunteers and staff at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust handed out cake Monday to patients, visitors and staff, provided by the trust’s catering team.
“This International Nurses’ Day, we’re celebrating and saying thank you to the nursing profession all over the world, but particularly here at the Trust,” said Jill Foster, chief nurse for Harrogate and District.
“Our nurses work tirelessly across our hospital and community sites, constantly providing high-quality, exceptional healthcare to our patients,” she said.
She added: “It’s fantastic that we’re able to celebrate the day with all of our staff and patients – with cake too!”
Simon Stevens with midwives
Source: Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
Eileen Sills with nurses and Florence Nightingale
Source: Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
Harrogate and District staff celebrate International Nurses’ Day 2019
Source: Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust
Morris Care Nursing Homes in Shropshire and Cheshire
Source: Morris Care Nursing Homes