Skip to main content

03 April 2018

Launching Nursing Now: student attends campaign kick-off in London

Charles Sinden, Adult Nurse BSc

Charles Sinden, an adult nurse student, writes about attending the launch of the global campaign Nursing Now.

Charles Sinden at Nursing Now launch

Adult Nursing Student Charles Sinden recently attended the launch of Nursing Now, a three-year global campaign run in collaboration with the International Council of Nurses and the World Health Organization.

On 27 February 2018 I attended the London launch of Nursing Now. Nursing Now is a global campaign run in collaboration with the World Health Organisation and International Council of Nurses. It aims to improve health globally by raising the profile and status of nurses worldwide – influencing policymakers and supporting nurses themselves to lead, learn and build a global movement.

Weeks before the campaign launch, I was unexpectedly approached by a Director of Nursing who asked me if I would be interested in participating in the launch of Nursing Now. Firstly, I was interviewed for the @NHS twitter account as the Director was curating it for the week! Afterwards I was interviewed for about an hour via video call and invited to attend the launch.

The high-profile launch was buzzing with excitement in London with parallel launches connected via video link in the USA, Switzerland, South Africa, and Jordan. Many attendees were King’s graduates or Faculty staff including, inter alia, Professor Anne Marie Rafferty, Baroness Professor Mary Watkins, Professor Jane Cummings, Dame Eileen Sills, Dame Professor Donna Kinnair, Dame Christine Beasley, Professor Judith Ellis, and Cecilia Amin CBE.

A highlight for me was the round table discussion which involved myself and four nurses at different stages of our careers chaired by Professor Dame Donna Kinnair.

In the morning we met with Elizabeth Iro, the World Health Organisation’s relatively newly appointed Chief Nurse, to discuss what we do, which uncovered the theme of juggling several roles simultaneously. I discussed my role as the first student Freedom to Speak Up Ambassador at King’s College Hospital, protecting patient safety in times of national staff shortages, alongside my work serving on a sexual health advisory board, assisting in chemotherapy research at Guy’s Cancer Centre, and a recent appointment to the Emerging Scholars Committee at Harvard University’s Planetary Health Alliance.

The round table came together in the afternoon to offer HRH the Duchess of Cambridge insights into the opportunities and challenges for strengthening nursing globally. HRH was particularly interested in my upcoming epidemiology research elective in Switzerland. I argued that an elective placement should be a mandatory component of the pre-registration curriculum, allowing students to explore an area of interest and demonstrate entrepreneurial and organisational skills. If travelling overseas students can experience a different culture, health system, and conditions prevalent in the local population, although they can be equally fruitful if organised in the UK. Interestingly, electives have been a mandatory part of UK medical school curricula for over forty years.

Nursing Now will work to build a global network of nurse champions and advocate for more nurses in leadership positions – to help nurses achieve the influence they deserve. And it will help nurses access better education and training, while supporting them to share research and evidence of effective practice. Nursing Now will encourage health leaders to invest in nursing and introduce new models of care that maximise nurses’ contributions to achieving Universal Health Coverage which would guarantee everyone the right to quality health care without financial hardship.We can all take this philosophy forward to raise the profile of the profession, attracting more people to a varied and exciting career, whilst providing all nurses with new challenges as the population needs of the twenty-first century are changing.