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International Nurses Day 2021: Global voices in nursing come together at Sunderland

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Published on 12 May 2021

The School of Nursing
The School of Nursing

An interactive global event has been organised to celebrate International Nurses Day 2021.

Held each year on May 12, the celebration marks the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth and recognises the achievements of the nursing profession. A Voice to Lead - A vision for future healthcare is the theme for this year’s International Nurses Day.

The University’s global forum will feature leading professionals from the US, UK and Asia offering an insight into their work, and provides an opportunity to shine a light on the incredible work of our own nurses, especially over the past year, who have played a key role in the fight against the coronavirus.

Sue Brent, Head of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Sunderland, says: “We are delighted to be hosting this global forum, joining our colleagues across the world in celebration of the incredible work nurses do, and looking to the future of how we teach and train our own nurses.”

She adds “Over the last year, more than 150 of our student nurses from those just graduating to those in the last months of their study - began working, as well as taking up voluntary posts, in hospitals across the North East, as the NHS faced unprecedented pressures due to the pandemic. We are incredibly proud of all they have achieved, and on this International Nurses Day it’s fantastic to highlight the work they do, committing themselves to our programmes and to the healthcare settings they’ve been working in.”

In the last five years the University’s School of Nursing has grown from a fledgling training provider with just a handful of nurses, to a range of programmes whose reputation now attracts hundreds of students from across the globe to our Sunderland, London and overseas campuses.

With millions invested in clinical facilities, Sunderland has now expanded from pre-registration nursing programmes into Mental Health, Learning Disability and Nursing Degree Apprenticeships. Our post registration programmes including the Masters in Nursing, BSc Nursing Top-Up degree and MSc Public Health has attracted more than 600 students to our Sunderland and London campuses, from the EU and internationally, since 2017.

Leading private healthcare provider, Spire Healthcare, last month announced it was launching a new Nurse Degree Apprenticeship programme in partnership with the University of Sunderland, with roles available across Spire’s 35 English hospitals.

This comes after the major investment of a £2.5m donation from entrepreneur and philanthropist Helen McArdle, supporting the development of the Helen McArdle Nursing and Care Research Institute on City Campus the only one in the UK dedicated to nursing research.

Karen Giles, Programme Leader for MSc Nursing, said: “The role of the nurse has continued to develop and diversify over the years, and this includes both contributing to and leading research, development and innovation in practice. This is often in partnership with multi professional colleagues, patients, strengthening further the nursing role and contribution to the future of compassionate, evidence based and inclusive healthcare.”

The Sunderland Global Education Forum, to celebrate the International Year of the Nurse takes place 1.30pm-2.30pm, on Wednesday, May 12.

The guest speakers will participate in a live interactive Question and Answer session as part of the event.

They include:

  • Sunil S. De Silva, PhD Senior Lecturer in Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, at Open University of Sri Lanka, whose research focuses on pallative care.

  • Dawn Bianchi who spent 17 years with Helen Mcardle Care until retirement from her role as Head of Elderly Care.

  • Erin Thompson who started her career in the medical world as a Fire Fighter/ Emergency Medical Technician, before working as a nurse in the busiest Emergency Department (Accident and Emergency) in the state of Wisconsin. She now teaches at the college level at Waukesha County Technical College.

  • Shelby Harbeck is a Certified Nursed Educator with over 30 years of clinical practice. She has been a Nursing Instructor at Waukesha County Technical College in Pewaukee, Wisconsin since 2007, teaching both theory and clinical courses. Prior to her academic career, she worked in cardiology.

  • Terry McDermott-Moses has been nursing within the NHS since qualifying in 2002.He has a vast amount of experience in multiple areas such as coronary care, ITU Stroke and emergency medicine. In 2008 he joined the Queen Alexandra Royal Army Nursing Coups (reserve) as a private soldier, in 2012 he became Officer Commanding of 251 Medical Squadron based in Sunderland.

Subjects to be discussed include:

  • Promote the role of Nurses

  • Discuss the theme of ‘A Voice to Lead’

  • Discuss the role of people involved in shaping patient care, Innovation Change Management and QI methods

  • Cover projects such as the ‘Older People Project’

  • Cover our panels experience of Covid-19 and how they think this will change the future of nursing

  • Nurses role/recognition of contribution to health/patient care

  • Developing and supporting other – fostering motivation, leadership, enabling career progression