Chief Nursing Officer Professor Charlotte McArdle’s message to Northern Ireland nurses

Date published: 11 May 2019

Chief Nursing Officer Charlotte McArdle today thanked Northern Ireland’s “extraordinary” nurses for their dedication during challenging and uncertain times.

Chief Nursing Officer Charlotte McArdle today thanked Northern Ireland’s “extraordinary” nurses for their dedication during challenging and uncertain times.

In a message for International Nurses’ Day, Professor McArdle recognised how stressful the profession is at present and urged nurses to “bear with us” as workforce challenges are being addressed.

“Nurses are tenacious and hardworking and they have my deep appreciation for that.

"There is hope for the future and things will get better as we work together to transform the Health and Social Care system.

"It will take time to sort out our workforce challenges but there is a plan and we will start to see the benefits of that soon.

"I urge all nurses to grasp the opportunities that are being presented to us to lead transformational change and improve outcomes for the populations we serve.

“Nursing is, for me, the best profession in the world.  It is a dynamic, flexible and respected profession. It learns from its past to inform its future and it shapes itself to meet the needs of the population.

"Though shortages are making working environments particularly challenging, our nurses go the extra mile and do extraordinary things to make sure people are cared for to the best of their ability.

"As a nurse, every day is different, you’re pushed to your limits, but you go home knowing you’ve made a difference.

“In Northern Ireland, we’ve been investing heavily in undergraduate nurse training places and this year we’ll see the first cohort of those additional places go on to the register.

"Next year we will see that increase, and the following year it will increase again. So we’re starting to see the fruits of our investment, which I hope will give optimism to those trying to deliver care across our settings.”

Nurses celebrate International Nurses’ Day on the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale (12 May), a founding leader of the profession.

Professor McArdle added: “I am extremely proud of our nurses whether working in the community, nursing homes, independent sector or within our hospitals. You are doing an amazing job and I personally value the huge contribution nurses make to care and our society.

“Nurses make huge personal sacrifices, doing extra shifts or changing off duty at short notice so they can care for patients. That’s what being a professional and a registered nurse means, ensuing the best outcomes for the people you provide care and treatment for.

“Nurses are often the first and sometimes the only health professional that people see and the quality of their initial assessment, care and treatment is vital.

"They are also part of their local communities – sharing its culture, strengths and vulnerabilities. Therefore nurses are a voice to lead and are ideally placed to deliver universal health for all.

"Nurses help to shape and deliver effective interventions to meet the needs of patients, families and communities.

“I was delighted that we launched Nursing Now NI back in January this year, which is a global campaign which aims to raise the profile and status of nurses.

“As part of our International Nurses’ Day celebration nurses are working in partnership with our primary schools to promote nursing as a career with our children. I very much look forward to working with our children this year who will be our future nurses.

“I am proud of our profession, have always been proud to be a nurse and proud of the work nurses all do every day and the outcomes you achieve.

"Nurses are holders of hope, champions of change, the voice of the vulnerable and you do amazing things every day. Happy International Nurses day.” 

Notes to editors: 

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