Editorial

Welcome to the new normal

Perhaps among the few positive effects of the pandemic is the enhanced status of nurses

Perhaps among the few positive effects of the pandemic is the enhanced status of nurses

Returning to work after a significant period of leave is always surreal, but against a backdrop of a pandemic it is overwhelmingly strange. So much changed during my maternity leave year, especially in the past five months.

One of the changes most apparent to me is how people’s views of the NHS and its staff have altered. As I caught a rare glimpse of my neighbours every Thursday evening when clapping for carers, I wondered if one of the positive aspects of this challenging situation may be that the status of nursing will finally change for the better.

Eight years ago I had expected the RCN’s This is Nursing campaign

Perhaps among the few positive effects of the pandemic is the enhanced status of nurses

Picture: iStock

Returning to work after a significant period of leave is always surreal, but against a backdrop of a pandemic it is overwhelmingly strange. So much changed during my maternity leave year, especially in the past five months.

One of the changes most apparent to me is how people’s views of the NHS and its staff have altered. As I caught a rare glimpse of my neighbours every Thursday evening when clapping for carers, I wondered if one of the positive aspects of this challenging situation may be that the status of nursing will finally change for the better.

Eight years ago I had expected the RCN’s This is Nursing campaign to raise society’s awareness of the long days nurses work and help make them feel appreciated, but I continued to see their inspirational work get forgotten all too quickly. Now, I hope Covid-19 has changed public opinion of them forever.

People recognise the sacrifices nurses and their colleagues have made during this pandemic to keep people well, despite the challenges. Now, whenever I see a rainbow in our skies or on somebody’s front window I feel immense gratitude.

Times have changed in the way we work and, naturally, I will engage with you all somewhat differently to discuss content and the forthcoming Cancer Nursing conference. We will be working in the new normal.

But, just as your status and spirit seem stronger than ever, my admiration for what you do has grown. As the RCN campaign’s overarching message stated: ‘It takes a remarkable person to be a nurse…where courage must outweigh the fear’.

I look forward to working with you all in the coming months to ensure your work is championed and to continue to make this journal relevant to the work you do.


Jennifer Sprinks is editor of Cancer Nursing Practice

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