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International Nurses' Day 12th May

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International Nurses' Day is a real opportunity to celebrate all the fantastic work that nurses do and to be proud of our profession. I was very pleased when @WeNurses and Britain's Nurses asked me for a nursing story as part of the celebrations and thought I would share it here too. I am really looking forward to reading your stories on nurses' day.

Thisviv with baby 1979 picture was taken in 1979 and shows one very new staff nurse, on a very new children's ward, in a newly opened hospital. I loved it. I worked on Paed Med and Paed ITU. After some time though I started to see sick babies and children who shouldn't be sick, like traveller children with pertussis and children who had ingested poisons in overcrowded homes with unsupported parents.  And I knew that what I wanted to do was help prevent those things that shouldn't happen from happening. I went on to do health visiting training and the rest is history. The baby boy in the picture did get better and go home and I later had the pleasure of being health visitor to his family. Health visiting is a fantastic career and I am privileged and honoured to be the professional lead.

As professional leader for public health nursing I am committed to showing the difference that nurses make to outcomes for individuals, families and communities and that the 6Cs underpin health protection and improvement. Below is message from Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive Public Health England, giving his commitment to supporting our work:

'Sunday is International Nurses' Day and a great opportunity to celebrate the contribution nurses make to improving and protecting the public’s health – remember Florence Nightingale was the first nurse to use painstakingly collected evidence to improve the health of soldiers during the Crimean War when more of them died of infections than in battle.  PHE will ensure that we support nurses and midwives to do the best job they can and we hope to see many of you at our Public Health Nursing and Midwifery conference on 26June.'

Viv Bennett

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