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#RCN100 Celebrating 100 years of the Royal College of Nursing

100 Years

For there,
below the drape,
a landscape,
not a patient, begins to take shape.’

Molly Case’s poem, 100 Years, celebrates a century of the RCN by weaving key dates from the College’s history into the story of a nurse witnessing open-heart surgery for the first time.

Molly’s powerful Congress debut in 2013, when she read Nursing the Nation, brought a standing ovation. That poem, a powerful affirmation of the profession’s purpose and resilience in the face of many challenges, went on to become an internet hit, with over 380,000 views on YouTube.

Molly was still a student at the time. Three years on and now a cardiac nurse at King’s College London, she was specially commissioned by the RCN to mark its centenary – and 100 Years is the result.

“Getting a commission was fantastic,” Molly said. “The RCN allowed me to explore 100 years how I wanted. So I started telling the story in a raconteur style, seeing it through the nurse’s eyes while peppering it with milestones from the RCN’s history.”

Those milestones include the First World War, the College’s new Library of Nursing, opened in 1945, and the 1981 pay campaign: ‘…a siege of voices and thousands of marching feet…’