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RCN celebrates international nurses day by thanking the profession

Patients and nurses' families passed on their thanks for the excellent service to mark Nurses Day.

This year the Royal College of Nursing  (RCN) asked patients to #thankanurse to mark the international day.

The event is held around the word on the anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birthday in 1820.

This year also marks the RCN's centenary and it invited patients share their stories about excellent nursing care.

Passers-by added their thank you cards to a display in a tent in a sunny Cavendish Square near the RCN's central London headquarters.

One anonymous relative of five nurses wrote: “I know first hand how much you all care and work yourselves into an early graver sometimes. A profession to be proud of.”

Another wrote: “A big thank you to all nurses, matrons, midwives and auxiliaries keeping a much needed institution running through adversity. The dedication of the British nurse should never be questioned.”

One relative paid tribute to “all those big-hearted, strong and resilient nurses who have done so much for my family and millions of others... beyond the call of duty.”

Student Amy Rodrigues added her comment after experiencing good care at her practice. “Thank you to all the nurses for all your hard work,” she wrote.

The RCN's president Cecilia Anim urged nurses to take a moment and think about the ways they support patients and their colleagues, often in challenging circumstances.

She said: “Think for just one minute, and you will find that you do so much, because for a nurse, midwife or healthcare assistant, going the extra mile is simply what we do.”

The RCN's chief executive and general secretary Janet Davies said: “Nurses have made a great contribution to society and so it would be wonderful for everyone to show their thanks to all those nurses who have touched their lives.

Across the UK nurses staged events to celebrate the profession and meet patients informally.

A group of nurses were given a day out by Surrey Downs CCG, which works with 150 nurses.

It borrowedSouth East Coast Ambulance Service's clinical simulation vehicle, known as a 'Simbulance', for the day to give nurses and healthcare assistants across Surrey Downs the opportunity to test out their skills in a state-of-the-art training ambulance.

Later they enjoyed tea and cake.