News

Game of Thrones' star becomes RCN ambassador

TV's mother of dragons is nursing's latest ally in the fight to raise awareness of staff shortages

TV's mother of dragons is nursing's latest ally in the fight to raise awareness of staff shortages

Emilia Clarke
Emilia Clarke: 'I am fiercely proud of my new role as ambassador and vow to use it to
champion nurses and their work.' Picture: Alamy 

Emilia Clarke who plays conquering queen Daenerys Targaryen in the global sensation Game of Thrones TV series has been named as the RCN’s ambassador.

The actor has pledged to use her multimillion social media following to support the RCN’s work for greater investment in nursing and to challenge misconceptions about the profession.

Proud to take on ambassarorial role

Ms Clarke said she was proud to take on her new ambassadorial role and was looking forward to working with the RCN.

'I am fiercely proud of my new role as ambassador and vow to use it to champion nurses and their work,' she said.

'Together, we must attract young people into the profession, support them to innovate and become the powerful nurses of tomorrow.'

 

Silly boomerang for a very serious honour. I have been given the role of Ambassador of the Royal College of Nursing and I honestly couldn’t be happier, prouder or more in awe of the incredible work @thercn does and the masterful work of Nurses the world over. We’ve all had experience dealing with sickness of ourselves or loved ones and the nurses that care for us need our care now, they too often fall victim to outdated ideas that leave fantastic nurses overlooked, under-appreciated and underpaid. I am fiercely proud of my new role as ambassador and vow to use it to champion nurses and their work. Together, we must support the next generation to innovate and become the powerful nurses of tomorrow. #thesunwillshineagain #missingmydadbutrememberingallwhocaredforhimtoday #❤️

A post shared by @ emilia_clarke on

 

Ms Clarke said the critical role that nurses played in the health of the nation was too often ignored.

'The vast majority of healthcare in our lifetime will come from nurses,' she said.

'Nevertheless, they too often fall victim to outdated ideas that leave fantastic nurses overlooked, underappreciated and underpaid.

'Our NHS, and other health services around the world, simply could not function without them.'

Dwindling numbers

Ms Clarke described the current situation facing nurses as unsustainable and in need of urgent support.

'Despite working round the clock, too many are forced to seek hardship support,' she said.

'It is sadly little surprise that their numbers are beginning to dwindle.

'Nurses who’ve dedicated their working life to mental health, school children or around our local communities are dropping dramatically and their expertise is lost.'

Ms Clarke also said the issue of nursing staff numbers was being further impacted by cuts to training and nursing student bursaries.

'The money the NHS has to keep our nurses trained and at the forefront of healthcare has been cut in half this year in England,' she said.

'And young people who have the drive and commitment are being put off by the new fees they must now pay to train.'

High profile support

Ms Clarke has a good track record of supporting nurses, having previously used her 16.7 million strong Instagram following to support the RCN’s successful campaign to end the government’s 1% cap on nurses’ pay.  

RCN general secretary Janet Davies welcomed Ms Clarke to the role and said she was delighted that nurses would be receiving such high profile support.

'When there is a considerable shortage of nurses in the UK – a gap of 40,000 in England’s NHS alone – this kind of energetic campaigning is needed more than ever.

'The RCN is proud to have Ms Clarke’s help in fighting for nurses and raising the profile of their innovative work.'

The government removed bursaries for nurses and midwives in 2017, requiring students in England to now pay £9,000 a year in fees.

This has resulted in a sharp decline in students seeking to study NHS nursing, with only 31,750 applicants to nursing courses in England in 2018 compared to 47,390 in 2016.

In other news

This is a free article for registered users

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this? You can register for free access.

Jobs