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England's chief nurse: Nurses are professionals, not heroes


Nurses are not heroes but expert professionals, England’s chief nursing officer has said. Ruth May spoke at an event marking International Nurses Day, an annual celebration of the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. Interviews also with Greta Westwood, chief executive of the Florence Nightingale Foundation, and Dame Donna Kinnair, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing. As well as marking 200 years since the nursing pioneer was born, 2020 has been declared the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. Speaking to around 20 socially distanced nurses outside St Thomas’ Hospital, Ms May praised nursing and midwifery staff around the world for their work during the pandemic. She said: “It isn’t the Year of the Nurse we all wanted. “But in many ways the spotlight is even more on the care, the expertise, the skill that nurses deliver day in, day out.”

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