Efforts to raise the profile of nurses in England are being ramped up with a new rebranded campaign.
Nursing Now England was officially launched today during a ceremony at the Royal College of Nursing headquarters in London.
The new initiative will combine the work of chief nursing officer Jane Cummings’ Perceptions of Nursing scheme and the global Nursing Now movement.
- Global nursing campaign launched by Duchess of Cambridge
- Duchess of Cambridge to launch drive to raise nurse status
- Global campaign to be launched to raise nursing’s status
At the launch event, Ms Cummings said creating Nursing Now England had been one of the ambitions she was determined to achieve before she stepped down as CNO at the end of this year.
She explained how the aim was to get nurses’ voices heard around the policy-making table and to empower nurses to “work to the limit of their licence”.
It would build on successes from other programmes including Compassion in Practice; Leading Change, Adding Value; the Collaborating Centre for Public Health Nursing and Midwifery; and the We are the NHS nurse recruitment drive, she added.
Ms Cummings said one of the reasons for joining forces with Nursing Now was to find opportunities to learn from other countries, such as Singapore, where more young people were entering the profession, and Italy and Spain, where increasing numbers of men were going into nursing.
“We are the one profession that we can really make a difference to the populations we serve,” Ms Cummings said.
“We need to be on the front foot; we need to publicise what we do, we need to promote what we do, we need to evidence what we do and we need to be proud to be nurses and midwives in this country and contributing to work of nurses and midwives across the world,” she added.
Nursing Now England will benefit from more than 2,000 nurse ambassadors who have signed up with the Perceptions of Nursing programme and leaders hope to get more on board.
The Perceptions of Midwifery initiative would remain separate, Ms Cummings said.
Lord Nigel Crisp, co-chair of Nursing Now, explained how the global initiative was launched in February this year in response to findings from parliamentary review that determined that nurses were “systematically under-valued and under-utilised”.
He added that from small beginnings Nursing Now had, in such a small period of time, developed into a social movement “by accident almost”.
England is the 66th country to have officially adopted the campaign internationally.
Lord Crisp said the goal was the improve the health of people around the world by raising the profile and status of nurses by 2020.
He added: “I personally have come to realise that this it probably the biggest thing we can do to improve health globally - that is to empower nurses.”
During the launch event a panel of nurses shared their views on what they wanted to see from Nursing Now England.
Annette Hughes, senior staff nurse in medicine at North Bristol NHS Trust, called for work to be carried out to ensure nurses from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds were fairly represented across the board; while Professor Jamie Waterall, national lead for cardiovascular disease prevention and associate deputy chief nurse at Public Health England, said barriers stopping men entering the profession should be broken down.
Among the other speakers at the event were England’s most senior midwife, Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, Ruth May, nursing director at NHS Improvement, Lord Victor Adebowale, chief executive of Turning Point; and Dame Donna Kinnair, acting chief executive and general secretary of the RCN.