The chief nursing officer for England has reiterated that encouraging more people to have a career in nursing, and also to stay in the job, is a “massive priority” for the profession.
She said she understood the “real pressures” facing staff, especially over the winter, and that she “continues to be amazed” by the professional leadership, expert care and compassion shown by nurses.
“I understand the real pressures you face, especially over the recent winter months”
NHS England’s recently announced recruitment and retention campaign would showcase the contribution of nursing and midwifery in the NHS as part of the health service’s 70th anniversary celebrations this year, she added in a blog post to mark International Nurses Day on 12 May.
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The CNO said the anniversary, and annual celebration of nurses, provided an opportunity to reflect on the past and future of the profession, and also recognise the skills and knowledge of nurses.
“I understand the real pressures you face, especially over the recent winter months. However, I continue to be amazed by the professional leadership, expert care and compassion that nurses display, day in, day out,” she said.
“We know there are some colleagues who leave the profession to pursue other paths, and we wish them well. But young women and men are joining the profession every year and encouraging more to join and those we have to stay, is a massive priority,” she added.
Professor Cummings said that the upcoming campaign would highlight the range of career opportunities that are available to nurses.
“The new campaign will spotlight the enormous contribution of nurses and midwives in the NHS”
She urged members of the profession to take part in the campaign’s work by contributing ideas about how to change the public’s perception of the profession through an event taking place online on 14 and 15 May.
“The new campaign will spotlight the enormous contribution of nurses and midwives in the NHS now and over the last seven decades and will help to recruit and retain nurses, as well as showcase the fantastic range of opportunities that are available,” said the CNO.
“It’s also a good opportunity to reference our national perceptions of nursing and midwifery work that aims to support both recruitment and retention of nurses and midwives,” she said.
“Our network of nursing and midwifery ambassadors are doing some fantastic work to address myths, stereotypes and negative perceptions of our professions,” she added.
She thanked nurses and midwives for the “amazing and important care that you all provide”, stating: “I look forward to celebrating our invaluable contributions over the course of this year and as we continue to lead, influence and innovate into the next 70 years.”
She encouraged nurses to contribute their reflections, innovations and examples of leadership online as part of International Nurses Day, by using the hashtag #IND2018.