Nurses across the UK and around the world have been celebrating International Nurses Day in a variety of ways.  Across Surrey Heartlands our celebrations have included staff get-togethers, displays and tea parties, with a particularly powerful reminder through an emotional poem written and recorded by Megan McGee a nurse at Ashford & St Peter’s Hospitals here

The annual International Nurses Day celebrates the contribution that nurses make to societies around the world. The date – 12 May – has a very strong significance as it is the birthday of perhaps the world’s most famous nurse, Florence Nightingale.

One Surrey Heartlands-wide expression of the impact of nursing was a series of statements from nurses displayed across the system about why they felt so strongly about their profession.

These statements came from nurses including current senior Surrey Heartlands managers who spent the earlier parts of their careers as nurses. Karen Thorburn, former nurse and now managing director at NW Surrey CCG,  provided a particularly moving yet typical speech bubble which she used to say: “I’ve been with people at their lowest points in their lives where they are receiving life changing/limiting diagnoses and at the best times when there are new babies and illnesses cured.

“I’ve held the hands of patients as they have died and spoken about angels with people as they have lived their last hours. To me these experiences are a complete privilege and I would not be the person I am today without having been a nurse and had that opportunity.”

The Royal College of Nursing promoted the annual celebration of nursing under the banner of “Thank you for all you do”. The RCN was also celebrating the 100th Nurses Day in the college’s history and held a special event to mark the centenary.