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Celebrating Nursing Stars during Covid-19

Nursing Stars

We have been collecting examples of your amazing work and stories during the Covid-19 pandemic.

We have been collecting examples of your amazing work during the Covid-19 pandemic through Q&As, social media posts and blogs.

If you would like to share what you’ve been up to or any great work you’ve spotted with us, contact or This is part of our Nursing Stars campaign to highlight the work being done by practice and community nurses, and midwives.

27 September – Introducing the General Practice Nurse BME network

Julie Roye and Robana Hussein-Mills are the joint facilitators of the GPN BME network, which you can join and support here.

18 SeptemberNursing Stars: Laura Clifford

Laura Clifford, a community matron and Queen’s Nurse, tells us why she and her team are Nursing Stars. She said: ‘I’m one star in a constellation of stars. It’s through the hard work and determination of the teams that we’ve been able to achieve what we have, during what has been an immensely challenging time.’ Read more here.

17 September – WHO Europe extends Year of the Nurse and Midwife

The Year of the Nurse and Midwife has been extended into 2021 in Europe because of the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been announced. In a speech at WHO Europe on Monday, WHO regional director for Europe Dr Hans Kluge promised nurses and midwives that Covid-19 will be ‘pushed back’ and ‘we will celebrate you’. Read more here.

14 September – Health visitors are proving vital after lockdown

Picture of author Rachael Hearson.

Author and health visitor Rachael Hearson explains how health visitors have been among the first to see the damage done behind closed doors during lockdown in her new blog for Nursing in Practice. She wrote: ‘This is where we health visitors come in. How many of us were met with open arms, tears even, when we crossed the threshold in our weird masks or visors, gloves and aprons?’ Read more here.

14 September – Practice nurses prepare for flu season

Debbie Brown, a practice nurse, describes the amazing work taking place in her flu clinic – and in clinics all across the country – in the build up to flu season.

12 September – District nurse accepts British Empire Medal for services to nursing

Liz Alderton, a district nurse in north east London and Queen’s Nurse, has received the British Empire Medal for services to nursing.

18 AugustNursing Stars: Sara Petronijevich

Sara Petronijevich, practice nurse in West Sussex, tells us why she and her team are Nursing Stars. She said: ‘Everybody has been supportive of each other working while in a different way. We’ve had daily team meetings. It’s a tight team.’ Read more here.

13 August – National Care Forum praises care home after staff qualify as non-medical prescribers

The Royal Star & Garter care home was praised by the National Care Forum for investing in its staff after two staff members qualified as non-medical prescribers. Their qualifications will reduce the amount of time residents wait for medication, leading to improved care.

6 August – Nursing Stars Q&A: Emma Manuel

Emma Manuel, lead clinical college nurse at St John’s, University of Cambridge, tells us why she and her team are Nursing Stars. She said: ‘Things are by no means straightforward and there is much work to be done, but I am immensely proud to be a nurse and working with truly amazing people, in my own college and the college nurse network. I know we are all in this together.’ Read more here.

24 July – A special visit from the Prince of Wales

The Prince of Wales thanked NHS general practice and primary care staff for their heroic efforts during the Covid-19 crisis, during a visit to St Austell Healthcare. Speaking to staff at St Austell Healthcare, he said: ‘What we are witnessing is a whole community working together to help each other, it’s a shining example of what is possible and what we should continue to strive to do.’

17 July – SAPHNA launches bespoke training for school health teams

The School and Public Health Nurses Association (SAPHNA) have launched bespoke training for school health teams as children return to school. This includes e-learning modules such as on emotionally based school avoidance, bereavement and whole school health and well-being. Live webinars will also provide a platform for parent/carer discussion, to support children, young people and families through what will be difficult times ahead for many. Register for a place before 20 July.

16 July – Q&A: Health visitor Rachael Hearson on her confessional memoir

We chat with health visitor Rachael Hearson about why health visiting is misunderstood, the impact of Covid-19 and her new book, Handle With Care: Confessions of an NHS Health Visitor. Read more here.

13 July – Nursing Stars Q&A: Anthony Johnson

Anthony Johnson, a health visitor and lead organiser of campaigning group Nurses United, tells us why he is a Covid-19 Nursing Star. He said: ‘We’re still in a situation where lots of us feel really undervalued and in a precarious predicament. Despite that, nurses still stepped up and met the challenge. We’re a caring profession because we care.’ Read more here.

7 July – Man celebrates his community nurses with ‘hero’ medals

Bill Wheatley, aged 87, has given 12 community nurses a ‘hero’ award as a thank you for putting themselves on the frontline during the Covid-19 pandemic.

6 July – The last clap for carers

The prime minister joined a nationwide applause to pay tribute to NHS staff on the 72nd anniversary of the health service, in what is hoped to become an annual tradition. The round of clapping was inspired by the weekly Clap for Carers initiative to thank key workers during the height of the Covid-19 crisis.

3 July – Nursing Stars Q&A: Cath Pierce

Cath Pierce, an ANP in primary care, tells us why she is a Covid-19 Nursing Star. She said: ‘To me, all nurses are stars. No matter what is thrown at us, we pull together with our healthcare colleagues to adapt and survive.’ Read more here.

2 July – Nurses have been a shining light in the darkness of a deadly pandemic

Helen Lewis explains how nurses have been a shining light in the darkness of a deadly pandemic in her new blog for Nursing in Practice. She wrote: ‘Nursing has become a glowing light in what has been some very dark days. Only time will tell whether that dedication, skill and knowledge will be rewarded with fairer remuneration in time.’ Read more here.

1 July – District nurse features in Rankin portrait

Anne Roberts, a district nurse based in Stoke-on-Trent, will be one of the NHS workers photographed by renowned photographer Rankin. The series will be showcased at local bus stops, roadside billboards as well as iconic pedestrian areas including the world-famous Piccadilly Lights in central London this week to mark the 72nd anniversary of the NHS. Read more here. 

26 June – Nursing Stars Q&A: Sarah O’Donnell

Sarah O’Donnell, a lead general practice nurse and the lead for the General Practice Nurse Student Nurse Network, tells us why she is a Covid-19 Nursing Star. She said: ‘Primary care networks are also making more use of each other by having hubs and sharing clinicians. This is, I think, always a good thing as bringing ideas together helps people in their own clinics.’ Read more here.

21 June – GPN SNN highlights Deafblind Awareness Week 

The General Practice Nurse Student Nurse Network (GPN SNN) has created this amazing video to raise awareness for Deafblind Awareness Week, which began on the 21 June.

18 June – BLOG: Why we are supporting Nursing Stars – the New NHS Alliance

The New NHS Alliance partnered with Nursing in Practice on the last campaign to highlight the important work of nurses. Here the organisation’s chief executive Merron Simpson and chair Dr Brian Fisher write why they are working with us again. Read more here.

17 June – Nursing Stars Q&A: Louise Brady

Louise Brady, the clinical practice and development manager at The Royal British Legion, tells us why she is a Covid-19 Nursing Star. She said: ‘ Being a Covid-19 Nursing Star requires great strength in swift decision making, with the skillset to be able to be flexible and adaptable to the changing crisis.’ Read more here.

8 June – District nurse volunteers to work in nursing home 

District Nursing Sister Maria volunteered to work in a nursing home during the Covid-19 outbreak

2 June – BLOG: School nurses will prove pivotal as children return to the classroom

Sharon White, chief executive of the School and Public Health Nurses Association explains why school nurses will have a key role in helping children and families as students return to the classroom. In her blog for Nursing in Practice, she wrote: ‘Of course, many schools have remained open throughout the lockdown period and with the support of their school nursing service, have already put into place numerous strategies that have and will continue to assist in the safest return to school as possible for students.’ Read more here.

1 June – Nursing Stars Q&A: Claire Carmichael

Claire Carmichael, a practice nurse based in Hampshire, tells us why she is a Covid-19 Nursing Star. She said: ‘I have had a lot of Covid compassion during this time and have been making welfare calls to patients to ensure they are okay during this tough time. However, I couldn’t have done this without the help of the amazing team around me. Management and the CGGs in Hampshire have been excellent!’ Read more here.

31 May – Community nursing is cast away on Desert Island Discs

Professor Dame Elizabeth Nneka Anionwu, Emeritus Professor of Nursing at University of West London, sang the praises of nursing and health visiting in the community during her appearance on Desert Island Discs. She was the first sickle cell specialist nurse in the UK. Dame Elizabeth, who has also worked as a health visitor, said on the role: ‘You have to earn the respect to get into people’s homes. You’re not in your own territory.’ Listen here.

30 May – Dorset health visitor Rachael Hearson appears on Woman’s Hour

Rachael Hearson, who is working as a health visitor in Dorset, has written a book on her experiences as a nurse called Handle With Care. On the BBC’s Woman’s Hour, she explains how the health visiting role has changed and why it’s needed now more than ever. She said: ‘[Health visitors] are there to try and build resilience into families and add resources and identify where families need additional needs, and try to make those referrals that are appropriate.’ Listen here.

28 May – A district nurse on the challenges of rural nursing during the pandemic

Nicola Tatt, a district nurse in Nottinghamshire, talks about the difficulties and rewards of caring for a rural population during the Covid-19 pandemic. In her video blog, she said: ‘We see many patients in those areas who otherwise would not be able to access services… [During the pandemic], one of the positive things that has come out of it is being able to work with a virtual platform.’ Learn more in the tweet below.

22 May – BLOG: Covid-19 has not stopped our revolutionary care home ward rounds

Cath Pierce, an ANP based at a practice in Stockport, works at a forward-thinking CCG that provides nurses-led ward rounds in residential and nursing homes. But since the Covid-19, they have had to adapt. In her blog for Nursing in Practice, Ms Pierce wrote: ‘I had previously used FaceTime to keep in touch with family and friends, but had never assessed a patient by video link. This sent me into a spin. How was I going to assess without undertaking a physical examination? How could I assess an individual’s condition without touching or feeling?‘ Read more here.

14 May – North East community nursing teams pulling out all the stops

Community nursing teams at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have come up with new ways to work during the Covid-19 including telephone consultations, showing patients how to do basic dressing changes and training up family members to provide basic diabetes and wound care. Sarah Mallett, clinical lead for East Cleveland community nursing, said: ‘The staff have been absolutely fantastic; they have really stepped up to the mark.’ Read more here.

12 May – Inspired midwife comes out of retirement during Covid-19

Retired NHS midwife Sarah volunteered in Bangladesh with UK Aid. Inspired by the courageous midwives she met in Bangladesh, she faced her fears and came out of retirement to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic. She said: ‘It inspired me to strive to show the same courage.’ Learn more in the tweet below.

11 May – District nurse sets record straight after misleading ITV News report

District nurses Jo Paterson showed the world how much district nurses have to contribute when she appeard on ITV News. The programme followed uproar over an original ‘misleading’ report that suggested district nurses were often unable to see patients during the coronavirus crisis. Ms Paterson said: ‘I don’t think any of us nurses do this job for recognition from the public. I think we do this for our job satisfaction and our patients.’ Read more here.

7 May – BLOG: Practice nursing in the alien world of Covid-19

Katherine Parker, a practice nurse based in Stockport, describes how practice nursing has kept up with a rapidly changing situation in her blog for Nursing in Practice. She wrote: ‘I applaud myself and each and every GPN colleague. In the last three months, we have transformed general practice. Much of what we are doing now I feel will be embedded and kept for post-pandemic times.’ Read more here.

22 April – BLOG: Nursing associates can help primary care during coronavirus – and beyond

Alicia Langdown, a nursing associate at a practice in Dorset, argues the case for nursing associates’ critical role in tackling coronavirus within primary care. In her blog for Nursing in Practice, she wrote: ‘I feel that my trainee nursing associate placements in secondary care have helped me to have a better understanding of infection control and different types of PPE. It has also provided some preparation for potentially seeing unwell patients in primary care, which we do not usually do on a regular basis.’ Read more here.

2 April – The children of Mersey Care’s nurses talk about their parents’ jobs

In a powerful short film, the children of healthcare workers at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust explain what their mums and dads do to help others. It was launched 15 minutes before the first Clap for Carer’s event, where people throughout the country are encouraged to clap for carers working during the pandemic. Trish Bennett, Mersey Care’s executive director of nursing, said: ‘Along with their colleagues in other clinical and support roles our nurses are at the frontline of the fight against Covid-19. Every single nurse, no matter what discipline, makes such a difference to their patients.’ Watch the film here.

18 March – BLOG: School nurses are donning their superhero capes to deal with the coronavirus crisis

Sharon White, chief executive of the School and Public Health Nurses Association, describes how school nurses are always ready and willing to don their superhero capes and do whatever it takes in the war against cororonavirus. In her blog for Nursing in Practice, from the beginning of lockdown, she wrote: ‘I think we’d struggle to find another workforce so willing, able, adaptable and amenable to step up as demonstrated in previous public health outbreaks of measles, meningitis and flu.’ Read more here.