International Nurses Day 2020

12th May 2020

A Message from the Director of Nursing on International Nurses Day 2020.

Dear all,

At the start of 2020, the International Year of the Nurse & Midwife, we could never have imagined how things would be on International Nurses Day.

Last week we had the opportunity to celebrate the contribution of our Midwifery Teams on the International Day of the Midwife.

Today, on Florence Nightingale’s Birthday, we turn our attention to nursing.

The focus for the day, across the world, this year is:

Nurses a Voice to lead- Nursing the World to Health and Wellbeing through Covid 19

I want to thank every nurse and health care support worker for the dedication and professionalism you have all shown, and continue to show, during this very challenging time. I have seen and heard many examples of nurses and those who support them excelling in the areas where they normally work and in areas unfamiliar to them and beyond their comfort zone, delivering and often leading services, with head and heart. And all of this against a back drop of what had already been a challenging year with industrial action and an ever growing demand for services which often outstrips our hospital capacity.

This year, given the exceptional circumstances in which we find ourselves, I would also like to take the opportunity to thank those who have stepped forward to join our nursing workforce at this time; student nurses, those who have responded to the workforce appeal and those who have returned from retirement. Those who have volunteered to support the most vulnerable in our communities in our local care homes and their colleagues working there have also demonstrated their commitment to the core values of nursing. I am grateful to you all.

As you are caring for others and, in our current circumstances, perhaps being with them at the end of their lives when their families cannot be, I know that you will continue to care for one another. It is also a source of great sadness for us when we hear of colleagues from our profession who have lost their lives as a result of this virus. COVID 19 is having a personal impact on us all in our work and at home. Never has it been more important for us to look out for one another and remember “it’s OK not to be OK”.

I am privileged and proud to be the Director of Nursing for the 36% of our workforce who are nurses, midwives and health care support workers in the South Eastern Trust and I know that your contribution is highly valued by your Chief Executive, my executive management team colleagues, your multidisciplinary team colleagues and most importantly, the patients, families and communities who you serve.

Finally, I can advise that we have deferred the launch of The Celebration of Nursing Report for this year until September and hope that then we will then have the opportunity to come together for a special event to acknowledge, profile and celebrate all that is great about nursing in SET.

To quote our Chief Nursing Officer:

“We will beat this pandemic and we will celebrate 2020 as the Year of the Nurse & the Midwife.”

Thank you & stay safe.

Nicki Patterson

Director of Primary Care/Older People & Executive Director of Nursing