Nurses' Day: 'Celebrate the heroes of healthcare'

RCN urges nurses to honour their colleagues at events across the UK, and patients to share their stories of care on social media for Nurses' Day 2017.

The difference nurses make to people's lives will be celebrated today in the UK and across the world.

Nurses are being urged to honour the heroes they work alongside

To mark Nurses’ Day, celebrated on the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, the RCN is encouraging nurses to honour each other’s heroic work by holding parties and events at their workplaces. 

Get nurses trending

The college is urging people to tweet at midday today in a 'thunderclap', to get nurses trending on twitter. To get involved click here

Patients are being asked to thank nursing staff for the care they have received, by sharing their stories on social media using #nurseheroes.

RCN general secretary Janet Davies said: 'No matter how bad things are, it is important we take the time out to realise – and congratulate ourselves – that nursing is fabulous.

‘We hear lots of lovely stories from people who have been cared for by nurses, so let’s say well done to each other.

Day for celebration

'It is a day for celebration and a bit of fun. It doesn’t at all take away from the fact we know there are a lot of serious issues nurses are dealing with. But this is the day we can kick back a little bit.’

The chief nursing officers (CNOs) of the four UK countries have also paid tribute to nurses for their hard work and dedication.

England's CNO Jane Cummings said: 'I understand the pressures that many of you are facing and today is an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the work that you do, your leadership and the positive impact you have on so many people whatever their age and wherever they receive care and support.'

Thank you

CNO for Scotland Fiona McQueen said: 'I want to say a big thank you to all of the nurses across Scotland for the work that they do under very demanding, difficult, challenging circumstances.

'It’s work that is so gratefully received, by the most deprived people in our communities, our most vulnerable children, people who are homeless, people at the end of their lives. Everyone in Scotland holds nursing in such high regard; it’s important that we set time aside to celebrate all that’s best in the profession, remember how important it is and thank you for all the work that you do.'

CNO for Wales Jean White said the message for this year's Nurses' Day was about stepping up to leadership roles to help drive improvement in care.

'It is right and proper nurses should seek to become leaders and get the voice of our profession heard,' she said.

'I've been so inspired by the contribution made by so many of you and your desire to improve the lives of our patients – thank you all for your commitment.'

Difficult circumstances

Northern Ireland's CNO Charlotte McArdle spoke of her pride at belonging to a profession that 'goes the extra mile'.

'I urge all of us to reflect on the history of our great profession, continue to model strong nursing values of caring for those in need, and grasp the opportunities that are presented to us to lead transformational change to improve the outcomes for the populations we serve.

'I want to say a very big thank you to all nurses who go the extra mile, give of themselves not just professionally but personally, often put their professional commitments before family, and continue to provide high quality care even in challenging and difficult circumstances.'

The Foundation of Nursing Studies has produced two videos in which nurses talk about why they chose the profession, what’s great about nursing and what they would say to future generations of nurses. 

At Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust in London, a charity abseiling event and special tour of artwork are among the activities planned.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn, Norfolk, will be applauding nursing 'superheroes', such as Julie Theobald, who fulfilled her childhood dream to become a nurse when she qualified in 2006, after years of study alongside work and family commitments.

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