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NI landmarks lit up in blue to mark International Nursing Day

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Belfast’s City Hall goes blue for International Nurses Day

Belfast’s City Hall goes blue for International Nurses Day

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Belfast’s City Hall goes blue for International Nurses Day

Landmarks in Northern Ireland turned blue in a special tribute to mark International Nurses' Day.

A range of monuments and council buildings across the region were illuminated blue, the colour of the NHS, to thank nursing staff for their efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Joanne Doolan and her four year old son Matthew ‘Shine A Light’ at their north Belfast home

Joanne Doolan and her four year old son Matthew ‘Shine A Light’ at their north Belfast home

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Lady Mary Peters lit a candle on International Nurses Day on the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale

Lady Mary Peters lit a candle on International Nurses Day on the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale

Joanne Doolan and her four year old son Matthew ‘Shine A Light’ at their north Belfast home

People were also encouraged to shine a light from their windows to show their appreciation for all that nurses are doing to save and rebuild the lives of patients with coronavirus.

It was part of the symbolic gesture, a nod to the lamp that Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, was known to carry. This year has been designated the International Year of the Nurse and also marked the bicentenary of Nightingale's birth. Her image and a message of thanks was also projected from Parliament on to her place of work, St Thomas' Hospital, while similar projections will happen at the British Embassy in Rome and the Italian Federation of Nurses.

Thousands of former nurses have come out of retirement to help the health service deal with the coronavirus outbreak, and thousands of students are also helping by working in extended clinical placements.

Paying tribute, Director Royal College of Nursing NI Pat Cullen said: "This may not be the Nurses' Day we envisaged but now, more than ever, we can be proud to be a nurse."

Lady Mary Peters also paid tribute to the nursing staff and all the other the NHS frontline, saying: "I want to send my love and respect to each and everyone of you.

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An image of Florence Nightingale is projected on the Houses of Parliament

An image of Florence Nightingale is projected on the Houses of Parliament

PA

An image of Florence Nightingale is projected on the Houses of Parliament

"We have so much to thank you for."

PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne said: "I would like to thank all our nurses for the amazing work they are doing during the Covid19 crisis and for their work in normal time."

The Queen led tributes to nurses all over the world as members of the Royal Family spoke to healthcare workers in the UK and seven Commonwealth countries.

The Royal Family released a video of the conversations and they spoke about the vital role the profession is currently playing as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the globe.

Boris Johnson, who recently thanked nurses for saving his life in hospital with coronavirus, said Nightingale "revolutionised Victorian healthcare, establishing principles that stand to this day".

The Prime Minister added that her legacy "lies in the remarkable women and men she continues to inspire today".

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NHS Lead Research Nurse Arlene Lee poses for a picture inside the nave at Westminster Abbey

NHS Lead Research Nurse Arlene Lee poses for a picture inside the nave at Westminster Abbey

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NHS Lead Research Nurse Arlene Lee poses for a picture inside the nave at Westminster Abbey

"And while much has changed in medicine since Florence's time, she would walk into one of our wonderful NHS hospitals today and I've no doubt that she would recognise in an instant the dedication, the compassion, the incredible skill of the nurses on duty," he added.

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Sophie, Countess of Wessex speak to nurses in Commonwealth countries

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Sophie, Countess of Wessex speak to nurses in Commonwealth countries

Kensington Palace via Getty Imag

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Sophie, Countess of Wessex speak to nurses in Commonwealth countries

Belfast Telegraph