International Nurses Day 2024: Our nurses, our future

International Nurses Day is celebrated worldwide on 12 May, the day that Florence Nightingale was born, to commemorate all nurses and the contribution that they make to society and this year’s theme is “Our nurses, our future”.

Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board is supporting and empowering nurses through the National General Practice Fellowship programme.  This innovative two-year initiative is designed to provide essential support to newly-qualified nurses and those new to general practice, with a dedicated focus on integrating them in Primary Care Networks (PCNs).

At the heart of the programme lies a commitment to providing funded, protected time out of practice, enabling new colleagues to acclimatise to their roles within PCNs effectively.  Through a comprehensive array of sessions encompassing health and wellbeing, peer-to-peer support, coaching, mentoring, and strategic learning sessions on primary care and PCN working, participants are equipped with the necessary tools to excel in their roles.

Sarah Stanley, Chief Nursing Director of Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board, emphasised the significance of this programme:

“On this International Nurses Day, we recognise the invaluable contributions of nurses to our healthcare system. The General Practice Fellowship programme represents a transformative opportunity for nurses to establish themselves within the primary care landscape, fostering a supportive environment that facilitates their professional growth and development.”

Manuela Agyapong, a practice nurse in Milton Keynes Village Practice, said:

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to take part in the National General Practice Fellowship programme because it has widened my horizons. I have received lots of support, guidance, and coaching.  I have been able to network and gained confidence in my skills.  I believe everyone would benefit from this and it will make an impact on the workforce.  We need change in how we work and how we see ourselves.  This has opened my eyes and has made me see my potential.”

Nana Osei, a Practice Nurse at Cauldwell Medical Centre in Bedford, said:

“I experienced unbelievable networking which continues to shape my career. The team is so supportive and always there.  I gained so much confidence in my leadership skills through coaching and mentoring.  I was offered the opportunity to lead a peer session with support from the team again heightening my confidence and leadership skills, all of which I am now applying to my practice and career.”

Nursing careers are among over 350 different roles available in the health and social care sector.  Anyone interested in joining the workforce can visit healthcareers.nhs.uk, which includes a quiz to help you find out which sorts of roles you are most suited to, and there is a website on social care careers at aquestionofcare.org.uk.


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