Nurses: We Are Always Here, Always There

The great diversity in nursing is displayed in this powerful video which is part of the largest ever recruitment campaign launched by the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom in its 70-year history.

“We are here every day and every night, of every year,” the video starts off.  In the brief time, an advertisement can air this one manages to showcase nurses engaged in emergency care, deliveries, care of the aged, mental health, rehabilitation, community care and more. The message that nurses represent all ages, genders, and races also come across clearly. Watching the clip made me proud to be part of the profession.

The £8-million pound (10.5million USD) advertising campaign kicked off in the NHS 70th year celebration week which started on July 5. It will include television and radio advertising, posters and social media. The target is mainly school children between 14 and 18 years of age.

The campaign aims to address the severe shortage of nurses in the UK and the dwindling number of recruits to the profession. Between April and September 2017 there were more than 34,000 nursing vacancies in England.

“This campaign is all about inspiring young people and others who want a change of career to come and work for the NHS and have a rewarding and fulfilling career that makes a real difference,” said Professor Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England.

A public survey found that, like in the US, nurses and doctors were the most respected professions. However, the public was mostly unaware of the skills and a considerable range of opportunities available to nurses. For example, one in three people could not name one nursing role outside of hospitals. There were also differences in the parent’s expectations of their sons and daughters. Only four in ten parents said they would be proud if their child chose nursing as a profession.

Earlier in the year the Royal College of Nursing, together with the NHS, also started working with over 800 nursing and midwifery ambassadors – many of them young and male nurses.  These ambassadors are working in workplaces and schools, as well as with the media and politicians, to help change the perceptions of parents, teachers and young people about nursing and midwifery as a career.

Frieda Paton is a registered nurse with a Master’s degree in nursing education. Her passion for nursing education, nursing issues and advocacy for the profession were ignited while she worked as an education officer, and later editor, at a national nurses’ association. This passion, together with interest in health and wellness education since her student days, stayed with her throughout her further career as a nurse educator and occupational health nurse. Having reached retirement age, she continues to contribute to the profession as a full-time freelance writer. In the news and feature articles she writes for Nurseslabs, she hopes to inspire nursing students and nurses on the job to reflect on the trends and issues that affect their profession and communities - and play their part in advocacy wherever they find themselves.

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