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Florence
Nightingale
Foundation

Celebrating Nurses

International Nurses Day is celebrated every year on 12 May. This year we want to thank and celebrate some of the nurses who are part of our ’90 at 90′ campaign. In our 90th anniversary year we are highlighting 90 of the nurse and midwife leaders in the FNF community, representing a range of roles working in diverse settings.

Read on to meet three of the fantastic nurses in the FNF community, hear the impact of leadership support on themselves and their communities, and find out what International Nurses Day means to them.

Look out also for our new ‘What Do you Stand For’ report: officially launching tomorrow.

Meet the Nurses

Fritz Ann Espedido is a Clinical Practice Facilitator for Internationally Educated nurses (IENs) at Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. We asked Fritz why IND2024 is so important and what it means to us and she told us: 

“As an internationally educated nurse (IEN) from the Philippines, partaking in this International Nurses’ Day in the UK assures me that the nurses’ contribution to the healthcare system is globally recognised. This celebration is an opportunity to educate the public about nurses’ roles and dispel stereotypes. Now more than ever, we must uplift the image of the nursing profession to inspire more people to join the workforce. 

In supporting my fellow IENs as a clinical practice facilitator, I learned the importance of honouring cultural diversity in the profession and ensuring that they feel empowered to bring about positive change in their respective field of nursing. International Nurses’ Day serves as an inspiration for the new nurses and ignites their motivation to be the future leaders of our profession. Lastly, I would like to share this quote with the newly qualified nurses and IENs:

“So never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard seed germinates and roots itself – Florence Nightingale.”

Kumbi Kariwo is a Health Inequalities Lead at Birmingham Community Health Care. She is also a Member of FNF’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Subject Experct Group. Kumbi told us:

International Nurses Day provides global recognition and appreciation for nurses – the backbone working tirelessly at the forefront of patient care. This day raises public awareness of our vital responsibilities as nurses in promoting health and preventing illness. The day inspires younger generations to pursue this rewarding yet challenging profession of skilled and compassionate service. It amplifies calls to address issues nurses face like staffing shortages and burnout. As an international observance, it fosters unity and solidarity among our dedicated colleagues transcending borders. Overall, this annual celebration honours nurses’ indispensable role in upholding human dignity through equitable, empathetic care worldwide.

For me, International Nurses Day represents the very best of humanity’s potential for compassion, equity, and inclusion. Nurses embody hope, healing, and an unwavering commitment to easing suffering across all borders and backgrounds without prejudice. I have witnessed and have been humbled by the selfless, service of care at both the most joyous and most difficult moments of life. This day reminds me of the empathy, courage and inclusive spirit that we all have within us to make our communities a little better through simple acts of compassion for all people. Nurses show us that when we lead with courage over complacency, we can be true forces for an equitable, inclusive good in this world. This is why it is so important to honour my remarkable colleagues, who continually strive to make a positive difference during these tough times. In the words of Desmond Tutu, “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” 

Ivo Carvalho da Silva is Ward Manager in General Surgery for HCA Healthcare UK at The Princess Grace Hospital. He is also a Member of RCN Nurses in Management and Leadership Steering Commitee. Ivo recently completed our Green Leadership Programme and told us: 

“International Nurses Day is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it acknowledges and celebrates the invaluable contributions of nurses worldwide to healthcare and society. It serves as a reminder of the dedication, hard work, and sacrifices nurses make every day to provide compassionate care to patients.

Additionally, it raises awareness about the nursing profession’s challenges, achievements, and the need for continued support and investment in nursing education, training, and resources. Lastly, it promotes unity and solidarity among nurses globally, fostering a sense of community and shared purpose in advancing healthcare for all.”

Maggie Shepherd is Associate Director for Nursing Research / Consultant Nurse (Monogenic Diabetes). She is also Honorary Clinical Professor of Monogenic diabetes (University of Exeter). Maggie was the winner of the Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award in 2023. We asked her about the importance of International Nurses Day and what it means to her:

“International Nurses Day provides an opportunity for nurses across the world to reflect on their work and the profound impact they can have in improving care and treatment for patients and their families. It acknowledges the contribution of nurses globally in shaping healthcare and transforming lives through their hard work, dedication and commitment, highlighting the profession and the diversity of roles within it.

For me it’s about ensuring the correct diagnosis and treatment of patients with rare genetic forms of diabetes and raising awareness of these conditions amongst nurses and other healthcare professionals. International Nurses Day provides an opportunity to highlight our  work in Exeter as we can offer genetic testing for anyone across the world diagnosed with diabetes in the first six months of life, free of charge, for those who could not otherwise afford it, to ensure the correct diagnosis and treatment www.diabetesgenes.org.”

Join our 90 at 90 campaign

Our 90 at 90 campaign is running until our 90th anniversary on 5 July and we would love you to be part of it. All we need is a photo and a quote, plus some details of the FNF programme you undertook or your connection to FNF. Please get in touch to join in!

Supporting Future Leaders

To celebrate nurses and midwives in our anniversary year, we have launched a fundraising campaign to raise £90,000 to support 90 student nurses & midwives, 90 early career nurses & midwives and 90 ward leaders & social care nurses. Please make a donation so we can reach our target by the end of this year. Thank you.