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A nurse’s story: what it takes to do the hardest job of all

Award-winning novelist and keynote speaker at this year’s RCN congress Christie Watson says nurses are in ‘dire straits’ and in desperate need of support. Her account of a 20-year career in London hospitals captures the terrible, hidden beauty of nursing

Award-winning novelist and keynote speaker at this year’s RCN congress Christie Watson says nurses are in ‘dire straits’ and in desperate need of support. Her account of a 20-year career in London hospitals captures the terrible, hidden beauty of nursing

In her new book, Christie Watson set out to do something that sounds simple, but isn’t: ‘I wanted to describe the job of nursing.’ As Watson sees it, nursing is bigger, more complex, more demanding than any other profession. ‘It is very hard to put into language because it is metaphorical, it is quite abstract. It is not just one art, it is all the arts – it is everything all at once.

‘With medicine you can talk about disease processes,

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