International Nurses Day 2022

Across the partnership our trusts celebrated the contributions of each of their nurses, who continue to play an invaluable role across services. And one of our trusts even made a rather large announcement…

Beckenham Beacon nurses[Pictured: Nurses at Beckenham Beacon hospital celebrating International Nurses Day with cake]

Our incredible nurses took centre stage on May 12 as the partnership marked International Nurses Day.

This year the global event, which is run by the International Council of Nurses (ICN), had the mission to help healthcare organisations turn global strategy into meaningful local action.

Howard Catton, ICN Chief Executive Officer, says:

The value of nurses has never been clearer not only to our healthcare systems but also our global peace and security. Nor could it be any clearer that not enough is being done to protect nurses and other health workers, tragically underscored by the more than 180,000 health worker deaths due to COVID-19.
We should not shy away from calling out that this is a question of policy and politics because the policies to rectify this lamentable situation do exist but they are not being implemented.

King’s Health Partners has picked out a few of the highlights from the day.

King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (KCH)

KCH nursesKCH announced that it's opening a new facility in 2023 that will provide a dedicated training and education space for its 8,000 nurses and midwives. [Pictured: nurses at the new facility]

Situated in Loughborough Junction, the 820 m2 venue will provide simulation, teaching, and conference rooms.

Prof Nicola Ranger, KCH Chief Nurse and Executive Director of Midwifery, says:

We’re so excited about the King’s Academy, we know it’s going to be a game changer for our nurses, our midwives, and our AHPs.
We know that what matters to staff is education, and we absolutely firmly believe that the Academy will really contribute to that.

KCH staff nurse AndiElsewhere across the Trust Staff Nurse Andi [pictured], who works in the Neurosciences Ward, explained why she loves her job. She says:

I’m proud to be a nurse because I get to see my patients from when they come in, I get to encourage them, support them and push them to be the best versions of themselves.
I get to help them believe in themselves and I support their families as well. And I also get to use my critical thinking skills when I’m providing that kind of care.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (Guy’s and St Thomas’)

GSTT Andrea SwanOver at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Andrea Swan [pictured], Matron, Paediatric Cardiac and Respiratory Services, wrote a blog that explained how she came to be a nurse. She said that after a successful career working for Waterstones and Harrods she went travelling for six months. It was while sitting on a beach in Ko Samet, Thailand, that she decided she wanted to be a nurse.

She flew back from her travels early and began a paediatric nursing diploma at King’s College London (KCL). She says:

My first years of training were quite challenging, but I’m glad I persevered and stuck with it. I qualified aged 39 and remained anxious that the job was beyond me. Settling in with a supportive team really helped give me the confidence to develop and progress.
Children's nursing is brilliant in so many ways. I’m always surprised by their resilience in difficult times and how often small things, such as wanting their teddy or favourite treats, are all that matter.
I have learned many clinical skills and my powers of persuasion have also improved dramatically. I get to work with amazing families, at a very difficult time in their lives and we always hope they feel cared for too.

GSTT Alex KhanAlex Khan [pictured], a Staff Nurse specialising in infectious diseases, also wrote a blog for the Trust about how he came into nursing. He said that he travelled extensively in his early 20s and ended up becoming a freelance warzone journalist in Iraq, Somalia and East Ukraine.

However, he became disillusioned with journalism and wanted to help and support people in a personal way. He enrolled at KCL to become a nurse and hasn’t looked back. He says:

To anyone considering a career in nursing, I would tell them that they’ll have a job in nursing for the rest of their life. There’s stability but also satisfaction in knowing that you will play a real part in an incredible global effort to stave off people’s suffering and disease – in the pandemic but also beyond that – it is so rewarding.Some days are very challenging, but the rewards are beautiful.

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM)SLaM Jordan

SLaM shared stories from its nurses throughout the day. Jordan [pictured], Community Psychiatric Nurse, SLaM says:

My favourite thing about being a Community Psychiatric Nurse is I enjoy being able to care and educate clients on diagnosis, medications, and resources. Being able to bring clients comfort and help them to recover and live satisfying, independent lives is so incredible.

SLaM OgoWhile Ogo [pictured], Acute Inpatient Ward Manager, Lambeth, says:

I particularly chose mental health nursing following a personal bereavement I suffered and from early on in my nursing career knew mental health nursing was the speciality I wanted to pitch my career in.The differences seen in each day keeps me going, and the fulfilment of seeing a previously acutely unwell person recover and return back to living in the community is completely fulfilling to me, I totally love my job.

National Institute for Health and Care Research Clinical Research Network South London (NIHR CRN South London)

NIHR CRN SL Bernard SiuOur colleagues over at NIHR CRN South London featured Bernard Siu, Lead Research Nurse, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, among its coverage of the day.

Bernard [pictured] says he was first inspired to get involved in research after meeting a Research Nurse several years into his nursing career.

He adds:

I studied nursing in Australia, where haematological cancers and stem cell transplantation stood out for me as a specialty. After moving to London, I worked in a private hospital giving treatment to cancer patients. It was a good learning experience, but I wanted to move into the public sector.
I was working as a chemotherapy nurse at the Medical Day Unit in Charing Cross Hospital, where I shadowed a Research Nurse and became fascinated with their work. Meeting that Research Nurse was an eye-opener for me. I started looking for jobs in research and joined The Royal Marsden in 2009.
Research is very dynamic and collaborative. As a nurse working in a ward, you are just in that small area delivering treatments. You are not involved in decision making; why that patient has that treatment; you just deliver it. Research is interesting in many respects because you work with clinicians, registrars, research fellows, the trial pharmacy team and more or less everyone in the hospital.

Are you considering studying nursing? Explore the King’s College London nursing website here for course details.