#NursingLondon - it's time to change the narrative

 Jude Diggins 13 Aug 2018

Why, despite all the incredible work, the everyday kindness, the skill and the knowledge, are we too often silent about just how amazing and how utterly remarkable a career in nursing is? It’s a question that has been bouncing around my head for a while.

Nursing staff provide the vast majority of health care in this country. Without us, everything would grind to a halt. We bring humanity into the clinical setting, in the good times and the bad. We are resilient beyond measure and now perform surgery that used to be the preserve of doctors. We are at the very centre of the patients’ world, from the moment they enter it, to the moment they leave.

When we stop and reflect about all the things we do as nurses, you cannot help but wonder why we don’t do more to celebrate and shout about it! 

The truth is that as a profession and as custodians of the health service, we have been forced to spend the last few years fighting to maintain standards of care in the face of sustained government cuts. When the media only really ever talk about the NHS in the context of perennial ‘crisis’ - and you are simultaneously being asked to do more and more at work with less and less - it’s not always easy to shout about how much you love your job.  

We must – and will - continue to fight to protect the status of our profession, the health service and patients. But we must also not let the actions, agendas and negativity of others define us. The path to becoming a nurse is paved with moments of inspiration. In these times, when nurse vacancies are at a record high and student applications are falling we all have a duty to be that inspiration to the nurses of the future.  

That’s why in London we have launched #NursingLondon, a campaign that is all about reclaiming and restating what we love about nursing and why London is the best place for it.

The campaign will see us share the personal and moving stories of how our members came to choose nursing, profile nurses from across specialties and roles, and re-tell the moments that inspired all of them to join the profession. Nursing students and those in retirement will speak about their love for the job from opposite ends of their careers. Throughout #NursingLondon we will proudly celebrate the diversity of London’s nursing workforce.  

We are delighted to have the support of NHS England and CapitalNurse as well as Trusts across the capital who will be showcasing their facilities and their brilliant nursing staff.  

So, we want as many nursing staff in London to get involved as possible. What do you love about your job? What inspired you to go into nursing? What would you say to someone considering nursing as a career? And why did you choose London?  

The challenges faced by nursing staff and the health service won’t go away. From NHS funding to nurse education we will not clock off and will continue to fight those battles on your behalf. But now, let us take control of the conversation, take time out to celebrate nursing, and inspire the nurses of the future.  

Get involved - https://www.rcn.org.uk/london/get-involved/nursing-london

Follow us - @RCNLondon

Jude Diggins, RCN London Regional Director

Jude Diggins

Regional Director, RCN London

Jude became the RCN London Regional Director in April 2018.

Page last updated - 01/11/2018