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Call for greater recognition on International Nurses’ Day

As nurses celebrate, four leading voices highlight why the profession ‘should always have a seat at the table’ when devising health and care policy

As nurses celebrate, four leading voices highlight why the profession ‘should always have a seat at the table’ when devising health and care policy

Leading nurses have highlighted the need for greater recognition of the profession and its key role in improving health and care.

The call comes as nurses across the globe celebrate International Nurses’ Day today, with people encouraged to share their experiences of excellent nursing care through the RCN’s #BestofNursing campaign .

Ensure nurses have more opportunities to lead, innovate and share their

As nurses celebrate, four leading voices highlight why the profession ‘should always have a seat at the table’ when devising health and care policy

From left to right: Rohit Sagoo, Yvonne Manson, Nicola Bailey and João Marçal-Grilo
From left to right: Rohit Sagoo, Yvonne Manson, Nicola Bailey and João Marçal-Grilo

Leading nurses have highlighted the need for greater recognition of the profession and its key role in improving health and care.

The call comes as nurses across the globe celebrate International Nurses’ Day today, with people encouraged to share their experiences of excellent nursing care through the RCN’s #BestofNursing campaign.

Ensure nurses have more opportunities to lead, innovate and share their expertise

The theme of this year’s International Nurses’ Day is A Voice to Lead, so we asked four top nurses – all previous RCN award winners – to share their aspirations.

Key concerns included ensuring nurses were paid in line with their roles and responsibilities, and the need to improve recruitment and retention.

Crucially, they said it was vital to ensure nurses always had ‘a seat at the table’ when devising health and care policy, as well as more opportunities to lead, innovate and share their expertise.

Here’s what they had to say.

Nicola Bailey, clinical nurse specialist and RCN Nurse of the Year 2021

Nicola Bailey, RCN Nurse of the Year 2021
Nicola Bailey
Picture: Jonathan Porter/PressEye

‘I am a nurse. It is not what I do, it is what I am,’ says clinical nurse specialist Nicola Bailey, winner of the RCN Nurse of the Year 2021.

‘We need to be recognised for being skilled professionals.

‘Nurses should not be afraid to speak out especially when advocating for better healthcare.

‘We have amazing people in this profession with untouched ideas.

‘We need to show nurses how to turn ideas into action.’

Rohit Sagoo, children’s nurse and academic, founder and director of British Sikh Nurses, and winner of the RCN 2021 Leadership Award

Rohit Sagoo, winner of the RCN 2021 Leadership Award
Rohit Sagoo
Picture: Dave Gee

‘In an ever-changing world, nursing leaders need to empower fellow nurses in creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship to sustain and develop a healthcare system for the future,’ says children’s nurse and academic Rohit Sagoo, who won the RCN 2021 Leadership Award.

‘Leadership should be encouraged at every level of the profession.

‘There should be a commitment to recognising nursing skills, nursing diversity, nursing education and technology, and the role these play in improving healthcare.’

We need more nurses to provide safe care – survey

A recent YouGov survey found people across the UK believe nurses make the biggest contribution to society, but many worry there are simply not enough to provide safe care.

The snapshot survey of 1,805 adults found 16% believe nurses make the biggest contribution.

Some 71% of respondents felt nurses delivered the majority of care, but 70% think there are too few to do that safely.

Source: RCN

Yvonne Manson, Queen’s Nurse, director of care and dementia services at Abbotsford Care, and winner of the RCN 2019 Leadership Award

Yvonne Manson
Picture: Dave Gee

‘As well as fair terms and conditions for the role and level of responsibility, we need to ensure that there are enough nurses to deliver safe and effective care,’ says Queen’s Nurse Yvonne Manson, and winner of the RCN 2019 Leadership Award.

‘We must support the well-being of nurses before we lose any more.

‘We are seen as the most trusted profession by the public, but often nursing’s voice is lost in health and social care.’

João Marçal-Grilo, founding director of Jaya Mental Health, and winner of the RCN 2021 Mental Health Nursing Award

João Marçal-Grilo, winner of the RCN 2021 Mental Health Nursing Award
João Marçal-Grilo

‘Nurses must be given more chances to shape healthcare delivery nationally and overseas,’ says mental health nurse João Marçal-Grilo, and winner of the RCN 2021 Mental Health Nursing Award.

‘Recruiting nurses from overseas – particularly from regions with fragile healthcare systems - to overcome shortages in our own country is not the answer.

‘We need to review the narrative around what it means to be a nurse to attract fresh minds and inject the profession with new ideas, perspectives and enthusiasm.’

Find out more about the RCN Nursing Awards here


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