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A privilege, a celebration, and a commemoration – International Nurses Day 2022 at North Mid

In a service broadcast around the world, North Mid nurse Colette Datt led an ensemble of nursing colleagues from across the UK in a “sombre but elegant” procession through the Westminster Abbey congregation, carrying carefully before her the traditional lamp which represents the memory of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale.

The procession forms the centrepiece of the commemorative service held annually, to mark the contribution of nurses and nursing across the globe throughout history, give thanks for their skills and compassion, and celebrates their dedication to caring for sick people, past, present and future.

The annual event includes the Procession of the British Commonwealth Nurses’ Roll of Honour. The Roll includes the names of nurses who lost their lives during the Second World War. This year, the service also included for the first time a new Covid-19 Roll of Honour, remembering the nurses, midwives, nursing associates and healthcare support workers who lost their lives during the current pandemic.

A significant privilege

The honour of carrying the lamp is a significant privilege in the nursing world, and associate director of nursing for children and young people Colette was accompanied to the event by North Mid chief nurse Sarah Hayes, and a small number of colleagues from across the Trust.

Colette said:

“It was a most memorable day, and poignant to remember colleagues lost during covid. I had the privilege of being presented to HRH Princess Alexandra – representing the royal family at the service – and to talk with her about our Trust, and health secretary Sajid Javid came to speak with us also.”

The service, which took place on the evening of Wednesday 11 May 2022, heralded the start of International Nurses Day around the world, which takes place every year on 12 May, the date of Florence Nightingale’s birthday.

A global celebration

At North Mid, the global celebration continued throughout Thursday, with more than 1000 nursing staff – nurses and nursing support colleagues – receiving individual gift bags containing a mixture of practical items and indulgent treats, including gifts from by North Mid Charity donors such as gym passes and toiletries.

The day included presentations and learning sessions, on the International Nurses Day 2022 theme of ‘a voice to lead’, with attendance from north central London chief nurse designate Chris Caldwell, nurse May Parsons, who administered the world’s first ever covid-19 vaccination, and TEDxNHS speaker and former North Mid colleague Yusuf Yousuf. The packed programme also incorporated our Chief Nurse awards, which were presented to winners from categories ranging from ‘Student nurse of the year’ to ‘Outstanding commitment to patient safety’.

Chief nurse Sarah Hayes said:

“I’m so proud of all the nurses and their supportive colleagues at North Mid, who I have the privilege to work alongside. Their professionalism, compassion and dedication to our patients and local communities are a source of huge pride for me, and I am grateful to work alongside such incredible people.”

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