Edge Hill has commended nurses and midwives for the vital contribution they make to society as the Covid-19 pandemic continues.

A picture collage showing dozens of students nurses in uniform holding up drawings of words which describe a nurses attributes eg "caring" and "resilient".
Edge Hill students created this collage to pay tribute to the work of nurses and midwives on International Nurses Day.

On International Nurses Day, Tuesday 12 May, the Edge Hill University community has expressed heartfelt thanks to all its student nurses and midwives, and the staff who train them, for their dedication to caring for others.

Students shared their thoughts on what it takes to be a nurse and thanked those working on the front line during the Covid-19 pandemic in this short film.

And staff clubbed together to tell students how proud they were of their commitment to embracing online learning and volunteering to work during the crisis.

Led by the International Council of Nurses, this year’s special day takes place on Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday, and takes on a fresh poignancy as health professionals across the country selflessly step up to save lives during the coronavirus outbreak.

I head and shoulders profile picture of Dr Elizabeth Cooper, Head of Nursing and Midwifery Education.
Dr Elizabeth Cooper, Head of Nursing and Midwifery Education

Dr Elizabeth Cooper, Edge Hill’s Head of Nursing and Midwifery Education, thanked all trainee and qualified nurses, and midwives who were recognised on International Midwives Day on 5 May, for their contribution to society.

She said: “The coronavirus pandemic has seen the value of nurses and midwives to public health reach a new level of esteem, and as a consequence of this global event, both professions will continue to develop to meet the changing requirements of caring practice.

“Nursing and midwifery have evolved from crisis and difficulty, led by inspirational people like Florence Nightingale, and coming out of this pandemic will be no exception.

“We should celebrate the contribution of nursing and midwifery educators and students during and following the pandemic, continuing to rise to the challenge, overcoming personal fears and difficulties and working for the public good – in the time-honoured professional way.

“On a personal level, I wish to give my thanks to my department team and students who are living, working and studying through this turbulent time; I hope they take some time on 12 May to celebrate their personal contribution to the profession and to helping the recovery of the UK.”

Hundreds of Edge Hill’s students and staff have volunteered to support the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 750 nursing, midwifery, operating department practitioners (ODPs) and paramedic practice students coming forward.

A selfie of adult nursing student May Woodward wearing her uniform and holding an Edge Hill University coffee cup.
Adult nursing student May Woodward is volunteering in hospital during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Second-year adult nursing student May Woodward is one such volunteer who is now working in the spinal unit at Southport and Formby District General Hospital.

“I have never been happier since starting down this path,” she said, “even with all the trials along the way. Even though I am still in training, it has been an honour and privilege to be a part of this profession.

“Since I have actively been out on placement, or helping in the Covid-19 wards, I now know what people mean when they say being a nurse is a calling. It feels like this is something I have had in me all along, I just needed to realize it myself and have the confidence to believe that I could become a nurse.

“Nurses are the frontline people that are all too easy to forget but they are the glue which holds NHS clinical teams together so it’s important for people to remember them and stand up one day a year and say ‘thank you nurses for everything you do’.”

Child nursing student Megan Price contributes to the celebratory film.

First-year BSc Nursing (Child) student Megan Price added: “It has always been my passion and determination to become a children’s nurse, to make a difference to someone’s life.

“Me and my fellow first and second-year nursing students have created a video to celebrate International Nurses Day, to say ‘not all heroes wear capes, they wear scrubs too’.

“Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all NHS staff and key workers working on the front line risking your lives; you are all amazing.”

2020 has been designated by the World Health Organisation as the first ever global Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

The NHS is urging everyone to reflect on the “skills, commitment and expert clinical care” they provide and the “impact they make on the lives of so many”.

Edge Hill University’s Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine is one of the largest providers of health and social care education in the North West and home to the new Medical School.

The Faculty offers a variety of undergraduate courses in nursing and midwifery, as well as apprenticeships with local partner organisations, and postgraduate and continuing professional development (CPD) programmes for qualified practitioners.