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Year of celebration to salute nursing and midwifery professions

Monday, 25 November 2019

Year of the Nurse & Midwife logoA year-long series of events to celebrate the role of nurses and midwives in the Island is planned for 2020, as part of a worldwide movement to raise the profession’s profile, and to recognise the critical role they play in achieving universal health coverage.   

The World Health Organisation has designated 2020 Year of the Nurse & Midwife in honour of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. It’s shaping up to be a year to remember, with a myriad of events for nurses, midwives, their families, friends and the public to enjoy.

A packed calendar kicks off in January with a Past & Present display depicting nursing and midwifery over the last century, and it is hoped that an awards ceremony in December will round the year off in style. Processions, school visits and an afternoon tea with patients and retired nurses and midwives are among an array of special events on a nursing theme lined up for the months in between, with Queen’s Nurses taking centre stage in the summer when they host a seminar, The Voice of Nursing.

Nurses remember the birth of Florence Nightingale each May, and next year will be marked with a special celebration party, details of which are still under wraps. Another highlight will be the Lady with the Lamp evening walk, when nurses and midwives complete with lanterns, will visit the sites of the four general hospitals in Douglas – raising money for charity as they go.

Director of Nursing Cath Quilliam launched the Year of the Nurse & Midwife (YOTN&M) at a conference this summer, and since then dozens of ideas for events have been put forward by nursing colleagues.

Mrs Quilliam said:

‘This event is for all nurses and midwives past and present. We want everyone to be involved, including practitioners from the hospitals, the community and GP practices, Hospice and private residential homes. Student nurses and health care assistants are all part of the nursing family too.’

She added:

‘By joining together to celebrate what we do, we’re promoting unity among the profession in the Isle of Man, showcasing our skills and encouraging more people to consider nursing or midwifery as a career. YOTN&M will be an invaluable opportunity to present the diversity of our profession to young people, so we will be speaking to school children, visiting the college to meet students on health and social care courses, and expanding our presence at the Villa Marina recruitment fair next autumn.’

She added:

‘I’ve been really impressed with the enthusiasm of nursing colleagues for this project, and pay tribute to our dynamic organising committee who are busy making plans for 12 months of unique events and activities we can all look forward to.’

Nursing & Midwifery past, present and future is a running theme through the year, with a gathering for retired nurses to meet the current generation planned, along with activities for the children of nurses and midwives. There’ll be a special focus on student nurses, health care assistants and admin staff too.

All nurses and midwives signed up to YOTN&M activities will be entered in prize draws held throughout the year and there’ll be an opportunity for one lucky nurse or midwife to win an exclusive TT experience for two, to include a TrikeTours trip, a visit to the Control Tower to watch preparations for the race, Grandstand seats and dinner courtesy of Barbary Coast. All money raised from the sale of tickets will be donated to the Joey Dunlop Foundation.

Plans are afoot to capture the year’s activities in a book, entitled ‘Dedication and Diversity,’ which will also cover the history of nursing and midwifery on the Island. 

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