Each year, nurses from across the globe come together to celebrate International Nurses’ Day. Since 1965, the International Council of Nurses has led this annual event on and around the 12th May, to coincide with the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.
The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Nurses – a voice to lead – Health For All’, which sees nurses as being essential in transforming health care and health systems – such that no person is left impoverished or without access to necessary care.
Here at Sheffield Hallam University, the Nursing and Midwifery Team joined together with students and other health and social care colleagues to host an International Nurses’ Day event on Wednesday 8th May. The event, both celebratory and informative, aimed to raise the profile of both nursing and some of the key challenges that are facing society at a local and international level.
The day kicked off with a visit by the local nursery children to our SHU Teddy Bears Hospital, where the children proudly wore the new gender neutral nursing uniform as they listened to their teddy bear’s heart. There was also time for the children to wrap the teddy bears in bandages and plasters, whilst learning all about keeping fit and healthy. “We need to encourage boys and girls from a very early age to think about nursing as a future career, and this was a great opportunity for the children to find out about nursing in a fun and stimulating way,” said Tanya Urquhart-Kelly, one of the Children’s Nursing Lecturers who co-ordinated the ‘hospital’ with the support of the SHU Technical Resources Team.
Throughout the day, a series of seminars focusing on local and international public health challenges were presented by Pat Day and Gayle Hazelby (Public Health Nurse Lecturers), raising awareness of Human Trafficking, FGM, LGBTQ+ and Dementia. Also a representative from Mums United (a local community action group tackling knife crime) talked about the challenges of being a parent and a young person in the Sharrow community.
From an international perspective, Claire Manley, a mental health student nurse, talked about her recent study trip to China, and Hannah Wilson a previous Health Visiting Student at SHU, reported from her recent visit to explore health provision in Tanzania.
A key theme for the event was also the launch of the 100 years of Learning Disability Nursing celebrations. Jacqui Brewster and Jane Murphy (LD Nursing Lecturers) presented an interesting history of LD Nursing, with the support of our Partners in Learning Team.
A cake stall raised over £130 for Student Minds, a UK student mental health charity developing knowledge, skills and confidence to promote positive mental health wellbeing.
Speaking about the day, Gayle Hazelby said, “This was a tremendous team effort, with interest generated from across all fields of nursing, and across the wider SHU community on the day. We have a lot to celebrate at SHU, and we need utilise the opportunities that International Nurses’ Day presents to raise awareness of the enormous contribution that SHU nursing students, past, present and future are making to the health and wellbeing of individual, groups and populations both locally and internationally”.
Thank you to everyone who helped make the day such a success.