‘Changing things for the better’ – celebrating International Nurses Day

International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every May 12 on the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

The theme this year is Our Nurses. Our Future which will examine what is required for nursing in the future in order to address the global health challenges and improve global health for everyone.

Over the course of the day, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals will be celebrating everything about this incredible group of people on social media – please keep an eye on our channels and follow along using the hashtag #nursesday.

As part of our NHS75 campaign to celebrate the birthday of the NHS, you can read touching stories about our nurses past and present including the story of Zena Bradshaw, Cardiology Research Nurse at the Trust.

Nurse Joanne Gregory

Nurse Joanne Gregory

Meanwhile, Joanne Gregory, Medical Devices Nurse Specialist has also shared her experiences of working in the NHS.

Joanne, who qualified as a Registered Nurse Learning Disabilities (RNLD) originally, has worked within the Trust for 17 years after being recruited to establish its Medical Equipment Library Service. She is also a Professional Nurse Advocate (PNA) which means she has had special training to help support and deliver quality improvement initiatives.

Following 11 years spent in medical engineering, Joanne became increasingly involved in training for medical devices and governance and in 2017 was asked to join the Trust’s Corporate team to develop her specialism in terms of management and training.

She explained: “I enjoy the opportunities I am given to work with many different disciplines and professionals and have learnt from and been inspired by so many.

“Highlights for me have been about opportunities to experience, learn and develop services as well as being an advocate for colleagues. I just qualified as a Professional Nurse Advocate and a coach. This has been a major highlight for me because my passion for communication and making connections has been supported and encouraged.

“Becoming a nurse was something I undertook in my mid- thirties and I have never regretted it for one moment. There is always an opportunity to learn something new.

“Nursing has allowed me to be flexible, able to adapt and passionate. It has been a privilege to work closely with patients when they are often at their most vulnerable, to create and develop services and to work as a manager, to support and learn from colleagues in training and development and to develop my enthusiasm and curiosity for communication and personal connection.”

Joanne encouraged others to take the step into nursing, describing the role as a ‘roller coaster.’

She said: “It is a career full of challenges and opportunities. It can be a roller coaster during tough times but a joy when things are going well.

“It only takes that one spark in a day when you know you have changed something for the better, have helped a colleague to cope and smile, or seen the outcome you have worked for become a reality, to remind you of why you became a nurse.

“It’s that chance to make a difference, however small, that motivates and keeps you coming back for more.”

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