Nursing leaders are asking the public to ‘shine a light’ to mark International Nurses Day today and recognise the extraordinary work that their colleagues are doing in the fight against coronavirus.
The day also marks on the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, who founded modern nursing and pioneered infection control, but is also famous for her lamp.
England’s top nurse has joined other senior nursing leaders in urging people to shine a light from their window at 8:30pm on Tuesday to mark the day and show their appreciation for all that nurses are doing to save and rebuild the lives of patients with coronavirus.
Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England, said: “I want to thank each and every one of our incredible nurses who are on the frontline in the battle against the greatest health emergency in NHS history. Their professionalism and skills are helping to save and rebuild countless lives.
“It is a challenging but hugely rewarding career and I would urge anyone inspired by their example to sign up to join us and become a nurse.
“I know how much the public’s support has buoyed my colleagues during this testing time. It would mean a great deal if people once again showed their gratitude by shining a light for nurses this Tuesday.”
Julia Richards is joining her colleagues today to celebrate International Nurses Day. Julia always wanted to be a nurse.
You could say that nursing was in her blood, with about 20 of her family, including her mother, sisters and aunties, all being nurses and midwives. So, it was almost inevitable that this would be the career for her.
Julia said: “It’s fab to have so many with a shared experience and if you are struggling, somebody has usually got an answer for you. It’s a giggle too, when we get together and the older ones tell us stories how strict nursing used to be and all about the procedures that used to be in place.”
Starting out from school, Julia became a clinical support worker. This was followed by some time in the south working with people with a learning disability.
Back in Wirral, Julia started at Arrowe Park as a night domestic. She then worked on the wards as a clinical support worker before finally completing her nurses training. Julia has been at Arrowe Park for around 20 years and is now deputy-sister on the Acute Stroke Unit. Patients brought in through the Emergency Department at Arrowe Park Hospital as emergency cases, are directly admitted to this unit.
The current situation hasn’t altered her mind about nursing. “I would not change my profession,” Julia said.
“I have loved every minute, even through this COVID-19 pandemic and would always encourage somebody who’s interested.
"I’d suggest starting as a Clinical Support Worker first as you get a good feel for the job and can find out if it suits you.”