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Celebrating International Nurses Day

This Friday, May 12, marks International Nurses Day, where nurses across the world are celebrated on the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. Our Trust is proud to recognise and honour its brilliant nursing staff, including those who have left their homelands to join colleagues here in our hospitals and throughout the community.

Our Trust is fortunate to benefit from a very diverse workforce, where almost one in five of its staff originate from overseas, and from almost 80 different countries. Within the nursing workforce, the Trust is joined by nurses from almost 30 different countries, with more than a third of its nurses originating from overseas.

This amount of diversity is nothing new for the NHS, with its workforce – especially its nursing workforce – having been comprised of those from Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and beyond since its inception almost 75 years ago. Our nurses, and all our international colleagues, have contributed an incalculable amount, helping look after the most vulnerable in our communities and changing the lives of patients on a daily basis.

Beth Osasumwen Aghahowa a staff nurse at the Trust, moved to Suffolk from Nigeria almost two years ago and said: “I love being part of a diverse healthcare team which spans across borders and different cultures.

“'I’m grateful for the opportunity to make a meaningful impact in the lives of those we provide care for and their families. Being an international nurse in the organisation has enriched my professional journey and I’ve made life-long friends.”

To mark the day, there are a variety of activities planned across the Trust. Chief nurse, Sue Wilkinson and deputy chief nurse, Dan Spooner, have challenged our wards to a ‘best dressed’ competition, where wards will be vying for the top-spot of the best decorated ward. Additionally, our colleagues are invited to participate in ‘The Great WSFT Bake-off’, to find out who’s the best baker in west Suffolk.

In the evening there is an event sponsored by the My WiSH Charity, for Trust colleagues to gather and enjoy live music and a selection of food from countries including India, Nigeria, the Philippines, Romania and Portugal.

Ahead of the day, chief nurse, Sue Wilkinson, said: “International Nurses Day gives us the chance to say thank you to all those who take up this amazing profession, especially those who join us from overseas.

“These exceptional nurses bring with them unique skills, perspectives, and experiences that enrich patient care and enhance our healthcare system. Their dedication, compassion, and unwavering commitment have made a tremendous impact, ensuring that our patients receive the highest quality of care

“I would like to send my sincere gratitude to all the nurses at our Trust for the amazing work they do, as they make being a nurse here incredibly special.”

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Some of the Trust's incredible international nurses

Some of the Trust's incredible international nurses