Posted on Thursday 5 March 2020
Nursing staff in uniform
Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust has launched a competition for schools to design a uniform for nurses and midwives of the future.
The competition, launched in collaboration with the Florence Nightingale Museum, is open to children aged 7 to 11 who attend a school in Lambeth or Southwark.
The top three shortlisted entrants and their classes will be invited to a special awards ceremony, held at St Thomas’ Hospital at the end of April, where the winner will be announced.
The winning design will be modelled by a nurse or midwife during the awards ceremony and will then be displayed at the Florence Nightingale Museum for a week.
The competition has been launched to celebrate the life of pioneering nurse Florence Nightingale.
This year marks the 200th anniversary of her birth and the World Health Organisation has declared it the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife in her honour.
Florence Nightingale set up her first nursing school at St Thomas' Hospital in 1860, establishing Guy's and St Thomas' as the home of modern nursing. Guy’s and St Thomas’ has also created free educational resources for schools in partnership with the Florence Nightingale Museum. These explores the lives of important figures in nursing, including Florence Nightingale and the British-Jamaican nurse Mary Seacole, who set up a hotel for injured British soldiers during the Crimean war.
The top three shortlisted designs will be selected by nurses and midwives at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and the runner up and winner will be chosen by the Trust’s Chief Nurse, Dame Eileen Sills, and the director of the Florence Nightingale Museum, David Green.
The winner and runner up will receive prizes for themselves and their school.
Dame Eileen Sills said: “We are extremely proud of our close connections to Florence Nightingale and we want to celebrate and raise awareness of her wonderful legacy with our local community.
“Our competition and educational resources are a really fun and engaging way of introducing nursing and Florence Nightingale to children. We want children to know that there are no limitations on who can be a nurse or midwife and we want to inspire them to consider a nursing career at our Trust.
“Nursing uniforms have changed a lot since Florence Nightingale’s day. Today they’re non-gender specific and are designed to be practical and professional. It will be really interesting to see what the children think nurses and midwives will be wearing in future. I want the children to use their imaginations and have lots of fun with their designs. I’m really looking forward to seeing their creations.”
David Green said: "The Florence Nightingale Museum welcomes opportunities to work with its neighbours and local communities and we are therefore delighted to have been able to work so closely with Guy’s and St Thomas’ to create this learning pack to celebrate Nightingale's bicentenary and the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. We look forward to displaying the award winning design in our museum.”
The deadline for competition entries is Friday 27 March. The awards ceremony will be held on 30 April.
To find out more about the competition and education resources visit the Evelina London website.
Throughout 2020, Guy's and St Thomas' will be celebrating the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale with events and activities for staff and patients.