17th February 2023
‘Dear Nurse – Stories of Strength, Kindness and Skill’ – A love letter to nurses and midwives in the 75th anniversary year of the NHS
We are delighted that Victoria Jackson, iHV’s Senior Programme Manager for Projects and Evaluation, was selected to participate in the RCN Foundation’s ‘Dear Nurse’ book which celebrates the 75th anniversary year of the NHS and the very best of nursing. Read Victoria’s short blog which sets out more details on why she was selected and what this means to her. Congratulations Victoria, from all of us at the iHV!!
Nurses and Midwives were given an amazing opportunity last year to inspire the next generation. The RCN Foundation wanted to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the NHS by sharing and celebrating the stories of nurses and midwives in a children’s book, illustrated by Michael Foreman and with a forward by Jo Whiley.
As a proud lifelong nurse, I knew this was something important. It felt even more important this year as we are surrounded by news stories of how hard it is working in our profession currently, with stories of strikes, waiting lists and burnout. But we all know why we do this – the pride we have in our job, and the sacrifices we make, are all worthwhile knowing that we make a difference to the lives of so many. However, for those of you who are reading this now, you know that health visitors represent a vital nursing group who are not celebrated enough and who needed to be in this book.
So, I set pen to paper to write about my experience as a health visitor. But how do you articulate what you do into words? How do you pick one situation, or family over another?
It was at that point I remembered it was not about me and what I did, it was about the families and the honour of being invited into someone’s home, possibly at the worst point of their life and helping them find a way out. The honour of being there at probably the best time of a family’s life with the addition of a new member, as well as some of the lowest times. The honour of helping families find the joy in life again. So that is what I wrote about – why I became a paediatric nurse and a health visitor, and the honour of being a health visitor and a nurse.
There are over 40 stories from nurses and midwives in the book celebrating the vast variety of roles across the profession and over the years. This book reminds us of the joy in our job and allows children to see the importance of nurses, midwives and health visitors, and what a joy the job is. The fact that health visiting is included shows how we are valued by our colleagues – health visitors are an important nursing group, and we also inspire the next generation – and it is always good to be reminded of this.
Victoria Jackson, Senior Programme Manager, Projects and Evaluation, iHV
- RCN Foundation news piece https://rcnfoundation.rcn.org.uk/Latest-news/Announcing-Dear-Nurse
- RCN Foundation Tweet https://twitter.com/RCNFoundation/status/1621093441928318979
- Nursing Times new piece https://www.nursingtimes.net/news/workforce/nurses-hope-to-inspire-next-generation-with-new-childrens-book-02-02-2023/
Where to buy the book
Dear Nurse – Stories of Strength, Kindness and Skill book is available to buy online and from all good bookshops. For every copy sold, the RCN Foundation receives 50p of the proceeds.