///International Nurses Day

International Nurses Day

It’s International Nurses Day. Today we are joining millions around the globe to thank all nurses and other health care professionals who work relentlessly to provide high quality and respectful treatment and care. On International Nurses Day and the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, we are proud to share some inspirational stories of our NEL nurses. They may be behind the scenes but their work make a huge impact to patients and our communities.

Organised annually by the International Council of Nurses (ICN), International Nurses Day celebrates the contribution that nurses make to societies around the world. ICN’s theme for International Nurses Day 2020 is Nursing the World to Health, focusing on the true value of nurses to the people of the world.​​

When did you begin a career as a nurse?

I started as a student nurse at 18, qualifying as a Registered General Nurse in 1989.

Why did you decide to become a nurse?

I enrolled to become a Red Cross candidate when I was 15. My Red Cross leader, Daphne (I will never forget her), inspired me to become a nurse when I listened to her stories about the third-world crisis and the fantastic work she did in Ethiopia.

What is your biggest accomplishment?

Hampshire Primary Care Trust successfully nominated me for the Specialist Nurse Practitioner qualification (District Nurse) and I obtained my BSc Hons degree in 1999. It was a great achievement, completing the course while bringing up a young family.

In 2006 I changed to Continuing Care, starting in Hampshire before being promoted to Wandsworth Primary Care Trust. I thought I would only last for six months, but here I am 14 years later!

When did you begin a career as a nurse?

I started my career as an Emergency Department nurse in Newport, South Wales in 2011.

Why did you decide to become a nurse?

I became a nurse because my mother and grandmother were both nurses, and I love helping people.

What is your biggest accomplishment?

My biggest accomplishment in nursing was becoming Junior Nursing Sister of the Emergency Department of the Dar El Fouad Hospital in Cairo, Egypt in 2013. It was challenging because I spoke no Arabic and their entire health system was different from the NHS. It allowed me to experience nursing differently and gave me a valuable insight into how to help my patients in all types of circumstances, even when I out of my comfort zone.

When did they begin their career as a nurse?

I did my general nurse training at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield years ago.

I was interested in providing psychological care to patients, so I moved to London to do my post-registration training in mental health at the Bethlem Royal and Maudsley Hospital.

After that I wasn’t sure which direction to go in because I enjoyed all of my placements, and there were so many choices! I was particularly interested in counselling and group work, so I decided to remain in mental health and specialise in substance misuse.

I specialised in this for many years in hospitals, the community, primary care and prisons. One of the most memorable moments was a community outreach service I set up in collaboration with the health promotion department, specifically focusing on providing care, support and harm reduction services to female sex workers. The aim was to protect and safeguard vulnerable young women, ensuring they were making safe choices and providing them with access to services and screening.

Over the years I have worked in many environments across London, including acute medical care, urgent and emergency care, end of life care and mental health, although not always as a nurse. I’ve led many projects, implemented new services, and worked with other professionals to support the drive for improvement – evaluating services and facilitating pathway and service redesign.

Why did you decide to become a nurse?

I wasn’t sure what to do during my A-levels. I did some voluntary work at the local hospital and I enjoyed the experience so much that it sparked an interest.

What is your biggest accomplishment?

Having a clinical background provides opportunities to engage in any aspect of healthcare. It’s difficult to think about my greatest accomplishment as there have been so many, but I never stop learning and reflecting.

There are so many choices in healthcare; my advice is to follow your dream. Collect all the skills, tools and experiences from each role, and take them with you on your journey so that they’re ready when you need them. These are transferrable, so you can easily change from one speciality to another and learn any additional skills required. Remember your journey is unique to you. Embrace it. Enjoy it. Build up your lifelong friends and colleagues.

I’ve been with NEL for almost four years. I’m part of a team that provides improvement and transformation support to services, organisations and systems. We work with all organisations to facilitate change and improvement, including improving pathways.

As part of NEL’s support with Covid-19, I am supporting Barts Health in designing a telephone bereavement survey for the families of those who have died during the pandemic. We recognise that not being able to visit a sick relative before their death is incredibly traumatic, so we are helping connect people with local bereavement services. If you think our team can support your organisation please get in touch.

Email: nelcsu.piandst@nhs.net

When did you begin a career as a nurse?

My name is Rachel Holloway and I started my nursing career in 1992.

Why did you decide to become a nurse?

I was born with a cleft lip and palate so growing up I spent a lot of time in the hospital, even schooled there due to the extensive surgery I needed. I was treated by the maxillofacial team, the plastic surgery team, the orthodontist team, the speech and language therapy team, as well as the nurse and medical teams. I still remember the nurse I named my doll after – Jessica. As I grew older my passion for making a difference to people led me towards a career in nursing.

What is your biggest accomplishment?

There are so many amazing things that I have been involved in and delivered during my career. I feel that my biggest accomplishment is that I lead from the front, working with teams to make a difference to patients, staff and the NHS. I am proud to be part of the NHS. My mantra is: Make a difference. Make it happen because it’s the right thing to do.

2020-05-12T16:35:40+00:00 May 12th, 2020|News, news and views|