The 'next generation' of Florence Nightingales

Wednesday 23 September 2020

Nightingale Nurses Maria Jackson, Ivy J-Appiah, Kendra Schneller, Alexandra Pennell

A new generation of Nightingales have been celebrated with a unique professional award at Guy’ at St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

The Nightingale Nurse and Midwife Award was presented to 65 nurses and 10 midwives who now have the honour of being known as a ‘Nightingale Nurse’ or ‘Nightingale Midwife’.

The ceremony took place virtually with messages of support and inspiration from Gillian Prager, President of The Nightingale Fellowship, and Chief Midwifery Officer for England, Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent OBE.

Individuals were later presented with their personally engraved badge and certificate by Toni Lynch, Interim Chief Nurse, and Fiona Hibberts, Co-Head of the Nightingale Academy.

Named in honour of pioneering nurse Florence Nightingale, who established her first nursing school at St Thomas’ Hospital in 1860, the award is unique to Guy’s and St Thomas’.

Since launching in 2017, more than 200 individuals have successfully achieved the award.

To receive it, nurses and midwives have to provide evidence from their managers, peers and patients of their outstanding practice and how they daily demonstrate the Trust’s values. They also have to complete a programme of academic work accredited by King’s College London.

Fiona Hibberts, Co-Head of the Nightingale Academy, said: “A huge congratulations to all our Nightingale Nurses and Nightingale Midwives who have achieved this prestigious recognition during such a challenging time.

“It’s been a great privilege for us to award our most outstanding nurses and midwives, who demonstrate the Trust’s values every day, during an important year – the World Health Organisation’s International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. As Florence Nightingale inspired us, we hope that our Next Generation Nightingales will inspire others to be compassionate, skilled and tenacious in taking forward our professions.”

In the past, nurses who trained at the Nightingale nursing school and worked at St Thomas’ Hospital for more than a year received a special blue badge and were known as ‘Nightingales’. This was phased out after the school was transferred to King’s College London with the last badge being issued in 1996.

In order to recognise Nightingale’s legacy, Dame Eileen Sills, who recently stepped down as Chief Nurse, instigated this ‘Next Generation of Nightingales’ to continue to build on the rich heritage at Guy’s and St Thomas’.

The Nightingale Nurse and Midwife Award is part of the Nightingale Academy at Guy’s and St Thomas’, which launched in 2017 to provide a platform for innovation in practice and service development, education and research in nursing and midwifery.

Last updated: September 2020

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