In a speech ahead of the annaul event this weekend, chief nursing officer for England, Dr Ruth May, who took up post in January, said she was “delighted” to be celebrating the profession.
“Thank you to those who have spent a lifetime of sacrifice and devotion to caring for their patients”
Referring to the global theme set for the event, she said: “I’m delighted to be here celebrating International Day of the Nurse ‘A Voice to Lead Health for All’.
“What a wonderful way to celebrate our profession,” she said. “Every family in England has their own story to tell of when a nurse has impacted them on the most profound moments of their lives.”
Dr May reflected on the skills and emotional intelligence nurses offered throughout their careers, noting that it was part of what inspired her to become a nurse.
“Nurses day is a chance for the thousands of nurses working across the UK to come together to celebrate”
She said: “Nurses skills, expertise and competence – the true duality of what it means to be a nurse. To match technical expertise, technical excellence, with emotional intelligence.
“That’s why I chose nursing to be my profession,” she said. “Because I wanted to add value in the most profound moment of people’s lives.
“Thank you for all you’re doing and happy International Day of the Nurse,” she added.
Scotland’s chief nursing officer, Fiona McQueen, also wanted to thank nurses “who have spent a lifetime of sacrifice and devotion to caring for their patients”.
Ms McQueen gave special thanks to new nursing graduates who she said were “welcomed aboard to the most wonderful career”.
She said: “Having an International Nurses’ day to mark the special, special work that nurses do, I think is incredibly helpful.
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“To take time to reflect on everything that people do. The sacrifices they make in their personal lives so that they can continue to meet the needs of their patients,” said Ms McQueen.
“So, thank you to those in the profession who have spent a lifetime of sacrifice and devotion to caring for their patients,” she said.
“Thank you to our new graduates who are welcomed aboard to the most wonderful career you could ever imagine and thank you for choosing nursing,” she said.
In addition, Ms McQueen gave thanks to the families of those in the profession who supported them so the people of Scotland could be cared for.
“The career that we have chosen is a wonderful one,” she said. “It means that we can support people who are at the most vulnerable, people with a learning disability, people in prison, substance misuse, the homeless.”
“The day is the chance to celebrate the amazing work nurses do”
She added: “As well as our more traditional, acute in A&E departments and medical and surgical wards and also our communities.
“Our society gathers around us because they are incredibly grateful for the work that you do day-in and day-out and I would like to say thank you,” she said.
To help “boost” party celebrations for nurses, the Royal College of Nursing has provided staff with party packs to help encourage small workplace parties among colleagues.
RCN chief executive and general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said International Nurses’ Day was a chance for thousands of staff to “celebrate being part of one of the greatest professions”.
“Every day nurses do extraordinary work for all of their patients, often going the extra mile to ensure patients receive the care they deserve,” she said.
Dame Donna Kinnair
Source: Royal College of Nursing
“Nurses day is a chance for the thousands of nurses working across the UK to come together to celebrate being part of one of the greatest professions,” said Dame Donna.
She added: “The day is the chance to celebrate the amazing work nurses do, take time to celebrate and talk to people about why nursing is so important and hopefully inspire others to become nurses themselves.”
The International Council of Nurses once again set this year’s theme for the nursing celebration as Nurse: A Voice to Lead Health for All.
The theme comes as part of a two year campaign from the ICN, which focuses on the need for nurses to become more active and vocal in policy development and implementation.
As part of this year’s celebrations, the ICN produced several resources for nurses, including a toolkit and case studies that showcase nurses’ innovative work from around the world.
President of the ICN, Annette Kennedy, said: “ICN is delighted that so many different groups have been holding events over this week.
“Along with nursing organisations, the celebrations of International Nurses’ Day using the ICN theme have been held by other health care providers, technology and pharmaceutical companies, the World Health Organization and many more, showing the growing recognition of the important role of nurses in providing health care for all,” she said.
Howard Catton, ICN’s chief executive officer, said: “ICN plays a key role in ensuring nurses’ voices are heard at the highest levels of policy making.”
“We are currently preparing to welcome about 100 nurses to Geneva to attend the World Health Assembly, as part of our delegation, and will be ensuring a high profile for the profession,” he noted.