Celebrating International Nurses Day

To mark this historic day, a number of celebrations have taken place to honour our wonderful nurses and midwives across our partnership.

The 12th of May 2020 marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale.

Alongside Florence Nightingale bicentennial birthday celebrations, the year 2020 is also the World Health Organization’s international ‘Year of the Nurse and Midwife’ – a year round celebration, now a poignant opportunity to mark and reflect the courageous work of nurses, midwives and other healthcare workers in the face of COVID-19.

“Nursing the world to health”, with a focus on the “true value of nurses to the people of the world” was the theme set by the International Council of Nurses for International Nurses’ Day 12th May 2020.

Now more than ever, this theme is particularly relevant.

We take a look at how our partners celebrated their nurses and midwives and the huge contributions they continue to make during this challenging time:

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

Activities were held across Guy’s and St Thomas’ to mark International Nurses’ Day and recognise and thank the Trust’s nurses and midwives. Events included a virtual meeting with Evelina London Patron, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge, Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex, and nurses from the children’s hospital. 

England’s Chief Nursing Officer Ruth May thanked the Trust's nurses and midwives for their huge contribution during the pandemic at an event in the St Thomas’ Hospital Nightingale garden.

Along with cakes delivered to the wards, Mia Hilborn, Head of Spiritual Healthcare and Chaplaincy Team Leader at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and the Archbishop of Canterbury held a special chapel service celebrating Florence Nightingale’s life.

In Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust heart-warming video, nursing and midwifery colleagues share why they love what they do. 

Florence Nightingale Parliament

Finally, in partnership with the Florence Nightingale Museum, an image of the founder of modern nursing was projected on Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital buildings, and the Houses of Parliament – a profound symbol of how significant the work of our nurses and midwives is each day. 

King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

There were two very special events held at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to mark International Nurses Day, one at the Princess Royal University Hospital on the 11th May, and the second at Denmark Hill on the 12th May. Both events were well attended with a number of staff from nicola rangeracross the organisation, with an incredible cake unveiled.

A prize draw was also held for nursing and midwifery staff, with a number of prizes handed out to staff across King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s sites.

King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s Chief Nurse and Executive Director of Midwifery, Nicola Ranger [pictured right] shared her career journey and what inspired her to become a nurse on the Trust’s Twitter pages.

Colleagues in research and innovation, those redeployed to intensive care units, giving knowledge on how to wear personal protective equipment and managing COVID-19 patients shared their heroic efforts to give our patients the best quality care during the pandemic in a series of blogs on the King’s College London NHS Foundation Trust’s website.

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

SLAM INDThe Director of Nursing at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Vanessa Smith, and the directorate Heads of Nursing recorded a video message to thank colleagues for their amazing work, in particular during the pandemic.

On 12 May, the Trust’s Twitter pages were taken over by Lambeth directorate’s Head of Nursing, Simon Darnley. The Twitter feed was full of thoughtful videos, photos and thank you messages to nurses. 

Alison Peachey, Dual Diagnosis Nurse, shared the first in a series of blogs that celebrates the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife and the variety of nursing roles at South London and Maudsley. The skills, commitment and expert clinical care that nurses and midwives bring to patients, and the impact on the lives of so many is admirable. Alison shares: 

With some patients you build a bond that you never forget. Sometimes you can get the best rapport with the most complex and challenging patients. When you’re with them through the most awful time it’s a very powerful role to be in.

King’s College London

Florence Nightingale founded the world’s first professional school of nursing at St Thomas’ Hospital in 1860, which Is where King’s College London’s Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care inherits its name. To celebrate the anniversary of her birth, and the extraordinary efforts of its students and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, King’s College London created an online celebration of both causes.

A series of blogs on the legacy of Florence Nightingale, her relevance today and how we could use a Florence Nightingale right now – were all shared on the King’s College London website. One of the highlights is Prof Anne Marie Rafferty’s online seminar called “Florence Nightingale @200: an icon for today?” Prof Rafferty skillfully explored Nightingale’s legacy living on in the modern age, and its particular resonance during the pandemic we each face today.

Prof Sir Robert Lechler, Executive Director of King’s Health Partner and Jill Lockett, Managing Director of King’s Health Partners shared a message to celebrate International Nurses Day last week:

To all our nurses, midwives and students – thank you. Thank you for the amazing work you do to support both the physical and mental health of our local population, and on a global scale as part of our King's Global Health Partnerships. The tremendous care you provide is vital for our NHS, now more than ever. Every day is a day to celebrate you and all the fantastic work you do, but today we just wanted to take a moment to thank you.