Speaking on International Nurses’ Day, Health Minister Robin Swann has thanked Northern Ireland’s nursing workforce.
The Health Minister said: “During this pandemic we have seen, and the world has seen the fundamental role that nurses play in our health service. As Health Minister, I have been inspired by the profession’s response to both COVID and non-COVID services.
“Despite facing many challenges, nurses across all settings continued to deliver expert care to their patients. I have not only seen this for myself, but have also heard from others time and time again of instances where nurses have gone above and beyond. On behalf of everyone in Northern Ireland, I want to thank nurses and nursing assistants for all that you do every day.”
Minister Swann continued: “Last week I had the privilege of joining a video call with nurses from across Northern Ireland. Again I was humbled by the calibre of nurses we have working in our health service. They shared with me some of the challenges they faced over the last year but also how rewarding they have found their chosen career and how the success of our vaccination programme has instilled a strong sense of hope for the future.
“Of course nurses are at the very heart of our vaccination programme. On 8 December 2020, Joanna Sloan, a Sister in the Royal Victoria Hospital became the first person in Northern Ireland to receive the COVID-19 vaccination and nurses have remained instrumental to the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccination programme ever since.”
Thanking her profession Chief Nursing Officer Professor Charlotte McArdle said: “The last year has very firmly put nurses in the spotlight and International Nurses’ Day enables us to recognise the invaluable contribution of the nursing workforce.
“We are all too aware of the challenging circumstances in which nurses have worked through over the course of the past 12 months, and as a nurse I am incredibly proud of all my colleagues. The workforce has shown great adaptability and tenacity in being able to transform how care is both organised and delivered. Nurses have made an outstanding contribution, encompassing all programmes of care and I want to put on record my sincere thanks to the entire profession.”
Nurses celebrate International Nurses’ Day on the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale (12 May), a founding leader of the profession. To pay homage to the work carried out by nurses and midwives, the Department has coordinated the illumination of historic buildings and monuments across Northern Ireland on the evening of 12 May 2021. Buildings will be illuminated blue, the colour of the nurse.