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Nursing Times Live: International Nurses' Day 2014

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Catch up on what nurses up and down the country did to celebrate International Nurses’ Day. Our live news feed recorded what events were going on to mark the annual celebration of nursing and what the CNOs and other nurse leaders said about it.

3.52pm The Queen’s Nursing Institute’s Spring Awards Ceremony fell on International Nurses Day this year. The event was held at the Royal Garden Hotel in London.

Five nurses received the Queen Mother’s Award for Outstanding Service, 15 nurses were presented with awards for completion of Fund for Innovation and Leadership projects during 2013, and 65 Queen’s Nurses received their badges and certificates.

3.40pm The achievements of local nurses, midwives and HCAs were celebrated at a special event in Scunthorpe to coincide with International Nurses’ Day.

Around 100 health professionals from Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust attended a Best Practice Day. The aim of the event was to highlight the dedication and innovation of nursing staff across North, North East Lincolnshire and the East Riding.

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust

Best Practice Day: North Lincs chief nurse Dr Karen Dunderdale, pictured centre, with some of her senior nursing team

8.04am An advanced neonatal nurse practitioner (ANNP) from Plymouth has called on nurses to be proud of their profession. Róisín McKeon-Carter, who works in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Derriford Hospital, attended the annual Florence Nightingale service at Westminster Abbey on 7 May, where she was part of the procession of nurses who escorted a lamp.

Speaking about the event, Ms McKeon-Carter said: “It was such a memorable experience and it really brought home to me how proud we as nurses should be of the care we give.”


Róisín McKeon-Carter

6.20pm The Warwick Daily News featured an interview with Julie Aldridge, a nurse at Warwick Hospital and even took the time to explain the theme of this year’s International Nurses’ Day.

5.30pm “Whether you remember the nurse who helped bring your baby into the world, cared for you through an illness, or made an elderly relative’s dying days more peaceful – all of us have benefited from the work they do,” notes the Bristol Post.

The local paper ran a piece today explaining International Nurses Day and “celebrating the brilliant work that nurses carry out”.

It highlighted Helen Williams who works for Jessie May, a Bristol-based charity providing nursing care at home for children and young people, and Anne Crocker, a ward sister at St Peter’s Hospice who  started out as a healthcare assistant at Bristol Royal Infirmary.

4.56pm The health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, uses the medium of Twitter to post a belated Nurses’ Day message. He says: “Thanks to NHS nurses, hosp. infections halved & no of patients feeling they are treated w dignity & compassion at all-time high #nursesday

Meanwhile, Labour leader Ed Miliband and shadow health secretary Andy Burnham have been visiting Leighton Hospital today. Both have been tweeting about the visit but neither has so far mentioned International Nurses’ Day - @andyburnhammp and @Ed_Miliband, if anyone wants to give them a nudge.

4.56pm Macmillan Cancer is creating an online message mosaic for patients to thank their nurse directly. Visit to have a look.

4.54pm The RCN has been hosting an event this afternoon at the House of Commons, in order to try and raise awareness among MPs of International Nurses’ Day. Looks well attended from pics on Twitter

4.50pm Huddersfield couple mark International Nurses Day. A husband and wife who both work at the same trust have hailed their nursing careers as “a challenge and a joy”, reports the Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Andrew Elwers and Rebecca Sykes-Elwers both work as nurses for Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust.

4.39pm Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust’s director of nursing Anna Morgan has used International Nurses Day to thank frontline NHS staff for the “fantastic care provided to the county’s patient”.

Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust

Anna Morgan

“It is clear to me that for so many colleagues, working in healthcare isn’t just a job, it is a calling. On behalf of the trust, and patients across the county, I’d like to thank Norfolk’s nurses for their dedication and care,” she said.

4.11pm Never one to miss an opportunity, the Scottish government issued a press release for International Nurses’ Day, claiming nurses north of the border “will be financially better off than nurses in the rest of the UK from next year”.

From March 2015, nursing staff in Scotland could be up to £714 a year better off than those in the rest of the UK, following the split with England over nurses’ pay, it said.

Alex Neil

Alex Neil MSP

“Nurses play a vital role in saving lives every single day of the year, and it is important that we continue to acknowledge the important role nurses across Scotland play, particularly when it comes to International Nurses Day,” added Scottish health secretary Alex Neil.

3.36pm Staff and patients at Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are being invited to share their views about what nursing means to them, to help celebrate International Nurses’ Day.

Student nurse Leanne Siekiera, who is helping coordinate the activities at the trust today, said: “I feel it’s important for everyone − staff, patients, volunteers and visitors − to be aware of International Nurses Day and help us to celebrate the great nurses that we have at the trust and the wonderful job that they do every day, all year round.”

The trust is also celebrating Nurses’ Day with the appointment of 30 Italian nurses who will start work in its hospitals in June. The latest intake of nurses follows the recruitment of 19 nurses from Portugal in February.


Burton’s Portuguese nurses, who joined the trust in February

3.26pm Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust is to host its first ever nursing and midwifery conference tomorrow to coincide with this week’s Nurses’ Day celebrations. Staff have organised the #WeCare Nursing and Midwifery Conference, which will be held at the trust’s Postgraduate Medical Centre.

3.18pm In celebration of International Nurses’ Day, the Foundation of Nursing Studies announced that John Lansdell, a practice development facilitator at the Princess Alice Hospice in Surrey was the successful applicant for the Richard Tompkins Nurse Development Scholarship 2014.

3pm RCN president Andrea Spyropoulos spoke earlier today at a Nurses’ Day celebration event hosted by the RCN South Birmingham branch at Birmingham Women’s Hospital.

Birmingham Women's

Andrea Spyropoulos at Birmingham Women’s Hospital

2.20pm To help mark Nurses’ Day, the RCN press office issued a statement quoting Sam Hopcroft, who has worked in nursing since she left school and now helps student nurses find placements. Her Great Great Grandmother worked with Florence Nightingale.

She said: “The nursing tradition has gone down my family for generations so I think it was inevitable that I would end up working in healthcare. Nursing must be the most rewarding profession, I have loved listening to patients’ life stories and sharing funny moments with them.”

Sam Hopcroft

Sam Hopcroft

1.51pm Nurses aboard the charity ship Africa Mercy are celebrating International Nurses’ Day afloat. The ship, operated by the Mercy Ships charity, provides free medical, surgical and humanitarian aid to the poorest countries.

Ward nurse Elizabeth Chitty is currently among the 400 staff volunteering on board the Africa Mercy, which is on a 10 month outreach in Congo-Brazzaville.She said: “Being a nurse on board is like rediscovering why you became a nurse in the first place.”

Mercy Ships

Lizzie Chitty

12.41pm Healthcare assistant Jamie Goldswain has been named as the Nightingale Award winner for 2014 by South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Mr Goldswain, 27, is both the first male and the first non-registered nurse to pick up the award in the 10 years since it began.

He also landed the award for healthcare assistant of the year. He said: “I feel that all the time and effort I put into my job has been appreciated.”

Jamie Goldswain

Jamie Goldswain

11.04am To mark Nurses’ Day, a student nurse at Bradford University, has launched a charity single to promote the ‘6Cs’ of quality healthcare – care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment.

The Care Makers Song, written by Samuel McPhail, is being released on Itunes and promoted through social media. All proceedings will go to his chosen Yorkshire Cancer Care charity.

“It began as a rhyme I’d invented to help me remember the 6Cs, then it became a song,” he said. “My first passion is always nursing and my focus is on doing well in my exams, but I won’t grumble if I get good musical reviews too!”

10.29am The CNOs of the four UK countries, the Republic of Ireland, have issued a joint “rallying message” to mark International Nurses Day. Jane Cummings (England), Ros Moore (Scotland), Jean White (Wales), Charlotte McArdle (Northern Ireland) and Siobhan O’Halloran (Republic of Ireland) reflected on the changing face of the nursing profession.

10.28am CNO: Cultural change key to safe staffing and raising concerns

Jane Cummings

Jane Cummings

Jane Cummings has issued a wide ranging statement to coincide with International Nurses’ Day. She said nurses need a “culture of using hard evidence and local professional judgment” to determine safe staffing levels and a “culture of support to speak out when something isn’t right”.

10am The RCN in Wales celebrated Nurses Day at RCN Wales HQ with a coffee morning. At the event, health policy commentator Roy Lilley gave the fourth biennial Betsi Cadwaladr lecture on “nursing in challenging times”.

9.45am To mark International Nurses Day, agency HCL Nursing has announced that it will be supporting the nursing charity the Cavell Nurses’ Trust, which is trying to raise £3m by the time of the centenary of Edith Cavell’s death in October 2015.

HCL Nursing managing director Stephen Hockey said: “We feel it is important to recognise the extremely valuable work that the Cavell Nurses’ Trust carries out in helping the most vulnerable nurses. We also support the need for more trained nurses in the UK, making the sponsorship of trainee nurses all the more commendable. This is why we have chosen to support and promote this charity.”   

9.35am International Nurses Day was first celebrated by the International Council of Nurses in 1965. But it was in 1974 that 12 May, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birthday, was designated as the official date for the annual event.

9.30am Florence Nightingale’s grave restored for Nurses’ Day. The grave, which can be found in St Margaret’s Church in East Wellow, has been repaired after being seriously damaged during a storm in February.


Florence Nightingale’s grave following full restoration

9am: The theme for International Nurses Day 2014 is Nurses: A Force for Change – A Vital Resource for Health.

Judith Shamian, president of the International Council of Nurses, said:  “As the largest group of health professionals, who are the closest and often the only available health workers to the population, nurses have a great responsibility to improve the health of the population…”

Check out the special Nurses’ Day video message from Ms Shamian.


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  • I'd like to thank all the practice development nurses , learning supervisors and mentors who support nursing students and other care team trainees. They give time and energy, even when they are time poor themselves, to the development of others. It is their singular passion for the job that inspires and builds resilience in others. Thank you. ( An undergraduate from East Sussex).

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