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Celebrating Nursing Practice

 Anna Crossley 25 Feb 2019 District Nursing Forum

Without nurses, midwives and health care assistants, would healthcare survive? Given the terrifying future projection of 410,000 nurse vacancies in the UK without urgent investment, we may be seen as simply ‘numbers’ like rows of identical paper chain doll workers.

Of course we ‘do’ – all hours of the day we toil in the practical; provide the care needed to diagnose, treat and improve health. Our job and our patients demand our knowledge, skill and critical thinking. But we are so much more. Without us constantly questioning, striving to improve the quality of the healthcare we provide across each and every sector of health, healthcare would be at a standstill.

Many of the nurses, midwives and health care assistants behind the changes to drive healthcare forwards just see it as doing their job. They simply wouldn't identify with labels such as 'innovator' or 'pioneer'. Their developments largely go unnoticed outside of the workplace but innovation needs support, both at the workplace and organisational level.

To showcase local innovations and share knowledge and learning, the RCN invited members to share, celebrate and develop these innovations.  Today sees the culmination of a three year project of members’ work pioneering to make change to improve care for everyone, both within the NHS and in the independent sector. Four of these innovations were successful in receiving sustained investment and support to take them forward to fruition. The diversity of innovation is awe inspiring but the common golden thread around all these projects is person centric. Whether the innovation is focused on groups or individuals who feel they are margins of society, supporting and developing colleagues in practice, publishing work to share knowledge, or empowering and aiding people to live healthier lives; these projects were all created with a desire to improve care and improve lives.


Despite the huge pressures the nursing family face every day in staffing and resource constrained environments, for so many just doing our best or working harder isn’t enough. It is a privilege to shine a light on these innovators in our Celebrating Nursing Practice project and showcase the drive and passion that makes our profession so wonderful.

Silhouette of a woman

Anna Crossley

Professional Lead for Acute, Emergency and Critical Care

Anna Crossley is the Professional Lead for Acute, Emergency and Critical Care.

Page last updated - 08/04/2019