The chief nursing officer for England Jane Cummings has issued a rallying call to the nurses and midwives of today to help “inspire” future generations of the profession.
In an article written for Nursing Times to celebrate the NHS 70th birthday on 5 July, the CNO called on staff to help give “young people a renewed sense of pride” in the health service.
“I hope that in this special birthday year we can together inspire the next generation of nurses and midwives,” she said, noting that she decided on a career in nursing through personal experience.
While visiting her mother in hospital as a teenager, she said she “would sit and watch what the nurses did on the ward”, noting “first-hand their impact, expertise and knowledge”.
“In my nearly 40 years working as a nurse in the NHS, I have never regretted that decision and I’ve seen the rich and rewarding career opportunities it can offer,” said Professor Cummings.
Her message comes as NHS England embarked this week on a major recruitment campaign, which focuses on nursing, especially mental health, learning disability and community and primary care.
Primarily targeting school children aged 14-18, the £8m We are the NHS campaign will feature TV and radio advertising, posters and social media.
Professor Cummings said: “The new campaign will spotlight the enormous contribution of nurses and midwives in the NHS now and over the last seven decades.
“It will look at the wide-ranging career opportunities in the 21st century in a drive to recruit and retain more people into our profession,” she added.
“I am determined that we share the passions that drove all of us into the professions”
The CNO also noted that senior NHS leaders were visiting schools to “connect” with the next generation of nurses and midwives and other vital professions within the NHS.
“I am determined that we share the passions that drove all of us into the professions,” she said. “Let’s also showcase our work and leadership locally, regionally and nationally with NHS colleagues, MPs and policy makers.”
In addition, she noted that more than 800 nursing and midwifery “ambassadors” were now in place, with a brief to “bolster the voices of nurses and midwives and help change future perceptions”.
Earlier this year, she told Nursing Times that the ambassadors were already speaking to children in schools and colleges about their understanding of nursing.