In 2018 Nursing in Practice with the New NHS Alliance ran a campaign to highlight the work of practice nurses. This was a highly successful campaign for which the creators came up with the name Ninja Nurses.
At the time, feedback from nurses on the name was positive. Practice nurses told the campaign organisers they liked the idea of being skilled warriors, waiting to attack disease. Founder of the campaign, then NHS Alliance chair Heather Henry was even asked to go to Australia to speak about the campaign – where she received a warm welcome and praise about the name.
Nurses are currently doing amazing work under extreme pressures, which we wanted to highlight by relaunching this campaign. We felt that the idea of a highly skilled warrior vanquishing the evil foe of coronavirus showed the courageous efforts of nurses at this time.
However, times have changed. The Black Lives Matter movement and the reasons for it have reminded us issues of race and prejudice still very much exist in our society. Cultural symbolism is obviously, and rightly, under a brighter spotlight than two years ago.
And feedback from readers that the ninja image was not the right one to choose at this current time to depict what you are doing as a profession, has made us reverse our decision.
We hope that you will be more comfortable with being called stars instead.
We truly hope you will see that our aim, as it has always has been, is to recognise your work and highlight how you are working above and beyond to care for patients.
We want this to be an entirely positive campaign – without prejudice or hate; a pure recognition and raising of the profile of community and practice nurses, and midwives, who we feel can often be overlooked for their hospital colleagues.
Covid-19 has struck in the World Health Organization’s Year of the Nurse and Midwife. Events to mark that have been cancelled. We wanted to make sure it is still marked in some way and recognise the amazing work of nurses – especially as they are carrying out their duties in such unexpected and unprecedented circumstances.
We hope you will support us in this and get behind our campaign, which has a different name now but the same aim. Nursing stars during Covid-19. #nursingstars