Guy's and St Thomas' backs global nursing campaign

Monday 11 March 2019

Group photo of Nightingale nurses with chief nurse Eileen Sills

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust has backed a global campaign to support nurses and midwives.

The Trust is supporting the Nightingale Challenge which encourages hospitals across the world to provide leadership and development training for 20,000 young nurses and midwives by 2020.

The campaign calls on large employers of nurses to give at least 20 young nurses and midwives the skills they need to play an even more influential role in delivering healthcare.

2020 is a significant year as it marks the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, who established her first nursing school at St Thomas’ Hospital in 1860. The World Health Organization has announced that they will ask the World Health Assembly in May to declare 2020 as the ‘Year of the Nurse and Midwife’.

To support the development of nurses and midwives, Guy’s and St Thomas’ has launched a professional award unique to the Trust called ‘The Nightingale Nurse Award’. The award is named after Florence Nightingale and recognises the Trust’s most outstanding nurses and midwives.

The first new Nightingale Nurse Award winners were announced at a special ceremony held on International Nurses’ Day last May.  

To receive the award, nurses have to complete a programme of work, which is accredited by King’s College London. On completion of the Award, nurses receive a badge, certificate and have the honour of being known as a ‘Nightingale Nurse’.

Six hospitals and health trusts across the globe have so far backed the Nightingale Challenge, including Guy’s and St Thomas’.

Dame Eileen Sills, Chief Nurse at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be one of the first Trusts to accept the Nightingale Challenge.

“It is critical that we invest in our nurses and midwives and we are fully committed to providing them with the best possible support, so they can  progress in their careers, and provide exceptional care to our patients.

“This is why we have launched our Nightingale Nurse Award, which celebrates and supports the development of our most outstanding nurses and midwives.”

Dr Barbara Stilwell, Chief Executive of Nursing Now, said: “We want to encourage organisations worldwide to play a bigger role in developing nursing and midwifery. By enabling young nurses across the world to fulfil their potential, we will contribute to the impact of nursing.”

The Nightingale Challenge has been launched by Nursing Now, a three-year global campaign which aims to empower nurses worldwide.

The Duchess of Cambridge officially launched the Nursing Now campaign last February at Evelina London Children’ Hospital, which is part of Guy’s and St Thomas’. The Duchess is patron of the Nursing Now campaign and Evelina London.

Speaking about the first anniversary of Nursing Now The Duchess said: “I am delighted that, at the end of its first year, Nursing Now has grown internationally, with local and national groups in over 60 countries. Nurses play a vital role in health teams all around the world, and this campaign is doing an important job of raising their status and profile globally.

“The dedication and professionalism of nurses is awe-inspiring.  It is wonderful news that the World Health Organization Executive Board has announced that 2020 will be the ‘Year of the Nurse and Midwife’. This is a fitting celebration of the 20 million nurses worldwide and we hope that more young people will be attracted into nursing careers to ensure that the principle that health is for everyone, everywhere, becomes a reality.”

Last updated: March 2019

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