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The Royal College of Nursing has released a video highlighting the work of nurses across the UK who are providing care during the coronavirus pandemic to mark International Nurses’ Day.
The short video, voiced by actress and RCN ambassador Emilia Clarke, aims to showcase the professionalism shown by all nursing staff working during the current global emergency.
“This video showcases the professionalism of all nursing staff, in all settings”
Dame Donna Kinnair
It was launched to coincide with International Nurses’ Day, which is celebrated annually on Florence Nightingale’s birthday, 12 May.
This year it is the bicentenary of Ms Nightingale’s birth, which inspired the World Health Organization to dedicate 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife.
In the RCN video, Ms Clarke recites Michael Rosen’s poem ‘These are the Hands’, which was written for the 60th anniversary of the NHS in 2008.
She also adds a personal ‘thank you’ to all nurses across the country in footage she found “emotional” to record.
Commenting on the release, Dame Donna Kinnair, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, said: “This video showcases the professionalism of all nursing staff, in all settings.”
She said the public support for those in the workforce had been “almost deafening in recent weeks”.
“All efforts are needed to keep morale up and thank you messages can go a long way, especially in times like these,” added Dame Donna.
However, she stressed that change was needed and that the RCN would ensure the government does not forget the efforts of nurses during Covid-19.
“Fundamental change is long overdue and, with public support, we will make sure the government does not forget the professionalism demonstrated by all nursing staff during this pandemic,” said Dame Donna.
Meanwhile, Ms Clarke said: “Recording this video was emotional and the beautiful poem reveals just some of the reasons nursing staff are so well respected.
“They are leaders who show great skill and humanity, in ordinary and extraordinary times alike.”
She said that she had joined nurses in celebrating 12 May for many years but noted that this year would be “very different” because of the pressures caused by the pandemic.
“I have joined nurses in celebrating this day and their work for several years,” said Ms Clarke.
“Today will be very different, to reflect the pressures and risks they are running so that we can all stay safe.
“The public’s gratitude is immense, and, like everybody, I want to share a heartfelt thank you.”
The RCN is encouraging members of the public to share messages of thanks with nursing staff via a new tool on its website, as well as urging its 450,000 members to make use of a new meditation video and other online resources on mental wellbeing.
On social media, people are encouraged to use #NursesDay on relevant posts and new branded RCN stickers and GIFs will be available on Instagram to mark the day.