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The nursing profession’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has shown the world that nurses are “indispensable”, according to the president of the International Council of Nurses.
Annette Kennedy (pictured above) will today use her speech at the 2020 Nursing Times Awards to thank nursing staff for their efforts during the Covid-19 crisis and to encourage them to seek support for their mental wellbeing if needed.
“You have shown the world that you are indispensable, that nothing can happen without nurses”
The ceremony will be held virtually for the first time and marks the 30th anniversary of the awards, as well the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife as designated by the World Health Organization.
During her address, Ms Kennedy is expected to highlight the way Covid-19 “changed the world” that nurses both live and work in and altered the way care was delivered.
“But you have shown the world that you are indispensable, that nothing can happen without nurses,” she will tell award attendees.
“And through your caring and through your compassion and through the way that you save lives, you have shown that you are needed more than anybody else in this whole health service.”
The ICN, a federation of more than 130 national nursing associations, has taken a leading role in campaigning on behalf of nurses during the pandemic on issues including personal protective equipment and abuse against nurses.
In her speech today, Ms Kennedy is expected to reiterate the ICN’s concerns about nurse safety and mental and physical wellbeing.
“It is so important that we keep our nurses safe,” she will tell the ceremony.
“Keeping the nurses safe, keeps patients safe – two sides of the same coin.”
She will highlight that “many” nurses are “suffering stress and anxiety this year and at this particular time of the pandemic”.
“But you need to look after yourselves and you need to not to feel that you can do everything and that you are totally resilient and that you don’t need support too,” Ms Kennedy is expected to say.
Nursing Times is seeking to raise awareness of the mental health pressures and wellbeing needs of nurses during and after the coronavirus pandemic through our Covid-19: Are You OK? campaign.
Ms Kennedy will close her speech by thanking nurses for all they do and add: “If I had my way, I would give every nurse an award, particularly in this year of Covid-19.”
The ceremony will take place from 4pm when the winners of 23 categories will be revealed.
The event is free, and nurses can register to attend through our event web page by 3.55pm today.