Every day, nursing staff go that extra mile for their patients, and Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) is therefore supporting International Nurses' Day to highlight the fantastic work of its nurses.Nurses' Day takes place on 12 May each year, marking the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, a symbol of pioneering nursing. It is a chance to celebrate the remarkable difference nursing staff make every day, as well as providing an opportunity for patients to thank them too.In the lead up to the event, Deputy Director of Nursing at NSFT, Dawn Collins, has been ‘back to the floor’ on Waveney Ward, Hellesdon Hospital, Norwich to work with staff and patients. She explains why International Nurses' Day is such a great event in the global calendar: “It’s an opportunity to mark the work of not only nurses, but therapists, allied health professionals, and support staff. I’ve been a qualified nurse for 30 years and I’ve always remained passionate about nursing. It’s vital we don’t forget the crucial roles our staff carry out for the Trust.”Dawn went on to explain the importance of her keeping in touch with her staff on the wards as well as out in the community: “I don’t think you can be the voice of nursing at a senior level if you’re not listening to your nurses. You are the conscience of the nursing staff at a senior level and if you don’t hear that message from them and see the challenges they face then you can’t bring that knowledge to the decision making process.
“Some of the best days of your working life are those when you have patient contact. So there’s a bit of selfishness from my perspective as I like being with patients. That’s where you get the most satisfaction, from those social interactions.“Nursing is a very privileged position because you enter people’s lives, often at some very low points, and they allow you to enter into their journey.”Dawn explains the kind of reaction she gets from her staff when she’s out and about meeting them: “They’re pleased to see you and are keen to share their thoughts. More often than not it’s good news, such as how they’re improving patient experience. It’s nice to see when staff have worked really hard.”Dawn, who joined the Trust 16 months ago explained why she decided to go into nursing: “It was something I’d always been interested in and wanted to do and I’ve never looked back.”During my time here so far there have been lots of exciting times and opportunities as well as challenges, and I’m thoroughly proud of our staff.”Heidi Mckay, Deputy Matron on Waveney Ward, said: “It’s really important for us to have Dawn’s visibility on the wards. She provides us with the support and reassurance that we’re all working together towards the same priorities.“Dawn is very professional but approachable and provides us with excellent guidance which I find helpful in my new role as deputy matron.”International Nurses' Day is celebrated around the world and has been commemorated for more than 40 years.NSFT is encouraging members of the public to say thank you to nursing staff on social media by using the hastag #thankanurse.