National Nurses Day has been around since 1965 with the date changing to the 12 May in 1974 as this is the birth date of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.
I began working with nurses over 15 years ago and I have since worked with nurses across health and social care seeing evidence of dedicated, hardworking, caring individuals who are absolutely essential to the smooth delivery of services and patient care.
Nurses have an enormous amount of knowledge and many diverse skills they spend years perfecting and developing, all the time working in decidedly tough environments where extreme stress is just a part of the job. Nurses have a very varied role, and they are responsible for a number of different things in the workplace. This includes maintaining patient records, mentoring junior and student nurses, organising staff, identifying a worsening patient who needs further intervention and of course reassuring patients. This merely scratches the surface! Nurses certainly have a huge role to play when it comes to the health and wellbeing of people all around the world.
Nurses, because of their unique role of working with people from birth to death need to be involved in health policy and this does now seem to be happening. I am pleased to have seen a transformation of the importance of nurses in healthcare over the last several years with many becoming partners in general practice and being more embedded in CCGs and LMCs.
There was the General Practice Nursing Workforce Development Plan published by HEE in 2017. This provided guidance for both pre and post registration nurses including nursing associates and enhanced roles such as advanced nurse practitioners which has really opened up great opportunities for those currently in nursing or those considering a nursing career. If you haven’t seen this as yet, take a look here.
How to celebrate International Nurses Day
Because this day is all about celebrating nurses’ endless contributions to society, take this opportunity to show a nurse you know or who has taken care of you how much you appreciate them. As with most gestures of appreciation, whatever you decide to do need not be grand or cost much money. A simple “thank you” will definitely make that nurse’s day.
Thank you to all of the nurses I have worked with and who continue to work hard to care for others.