The Royal College of Nursing has released a video featuring ‘Game of Thrones’ actor Emilia Clarke to mark International Nurses’ Day today.
Ms Clarke, also an RCN ambassador, recites Michael Rosen’s poem ‘These are the Hands’, written for the 60th anniversary of the NHS in 2008, over footage showing nursing staff around the UK providing care during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ms Clarke said: ‘I have joined nurses in celebrating this day and their work for several years. Today will be very different, to reflect the pressures and risks they are running so that we can all stay safe. The public’s gratitude is immense and, like everybody, I want to share a heartfelt thank you.’
The annual celebration of nursing this year coincides with the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, launched by the World Health Organisation to fall on the bicentenary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.
Other tributes to nurses to mark the day include nursing leaders asking the public to ‘shine a light’ from their window at 8.30pm.
An image of Florence Nightingale and a message of thanks will also be projected onto her place of work, St Thomas’s Hospital, as well as onto the British Embassy in Rome and the Italian Federation of Nurses between 9pm and 11pm.
In addition, the Isle of Man Post Office has launched a set of stamps celebrating nursing and midwife professionals.
RCN chief executive Dame Donna Kinnair said public support for nurses ‘has been almost deafening in recent weeks’ but stressed that the Government must fairly reward nurses for their work during the pandemic.
She continued: ‘Fundamental change is long overdue and, with public support, we will make sure the Government does not forget the professionalism demonstrated by all nursing staff during this pandemic.’
RCN chief executive Dame Donna Kinnair yesterday warned that nurses must have adequate personal protective equipment and testing before the lockdown is scaled back any further.