International Nurses’ Day 2024

May 9, 2024

International Nurses’ Day is celebrated around the world on 12 May – the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

We are proud to mark International Nurses’ Day as a way of thanking the nurses who work within Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Here are just a few examples of some of our nurses and the role they play in supporting our communities.

Colin Baker is our Head of Nursing for Mental Health and Learning Disabilities. He is also a Steward with the Royal College of Nurses and Vice Chair of the Professional Nursing Committee, member for South West.

International Nurses’ Day 2024Colin said: “Nursing is a profession that makes a difference to everyone at some stage in their lives, and has a positive impact on society and humanity. Nurses are a special breed of person with extraordinary emotional intelligence, immense courage and determination, integrity and compassion. Often unsung and over looked they are a key factor in the safety, wellbeing and development of people all over the world, the South West is a colourful and vibrant community and the Nurses there reflect that too.”




Registered Mental Health Nurse Merlin works at Wotton Lawn Hospital, in Gloucester.  International Nurses’ Day 2024

She said: “I am an internationally educated nurse who has migrated from India. I am currently working in Greyfriars Ward, at Wotton Lawn Hospital. I have been working in this unit for the past year and I am enjoying my job. The reason that I am here today working as a nurse is my mother. You might be thinking that my mother also is a nurse. No, she is not a nurse she runs a boutique and tailoring shop, but all her other three sisters are working in the healthcare, and they are settled in different countries.  My mom also dreamt of settling in a different country just like her sisters and she fulfilled her dream through me.

“Talking about my mother’s interest I should say that I was not much into this career. My dream was to become a police officer. However, when I started my nursing studies, I became more passionate about it. Making a positive impact in people’s life especially when they are going through challenging situation gave me more satisfaction and meaning to my life.

“When I started working as a mental health nurse, I feel like in a way I am fulfilling my dream and my mother’s dream together. Also being respectful and kind to each other is one of the core values that I hold. As the trust do not fail to maintain its values I can continue to work confidently and comfortably in the NHS. I wish everyone a fantastic international nurses day”.


Staff Nurse Silpa works on Kingsholm Ward, at Wotton Lawn Hospital.

She said: “I hail from a picturesque village nestled in the lush landscapes of Kerala, often referred to as “God’s Own Country.” Growing up in such a close-knit community instilled in me a deep sense of compassion and a desire to serve others. International Nurses’ Day 2024

“Upon completing my higher secondary studies in my hometown, I found myself at a crossroads, unsure of which path to take. While my initial aspirations leaned towards civil service administration, circumstances led me to embark on a journey into nursing. As the eldest in my family, I felt a responsibility to choose a career that not only aligned with my passion for service but also provided stable opportunities for the betterment of my loved ones.

“My nursing journey began with four years of rigorous training, marked by challenges and sacrifices. Moving away from home, navigating demanding academic schedules, and facing the uncertainties brought by the COVID-19 pandemic extended my educational journey to five years. Despite the hurdles, I remained steadfast in my commitment to honing my skills and knowledge in the field of nursing.

“Following graduation, I gained valuable experience working in a local hospital, where I encountered the realities of nursing first-hand. Long shifts, understaffing, and hierarchical structures presented formidable obstacles, yet fuelled my determination to seek a conducive environment to flourish professionally.

“My pursuit of excellence led me to pursue additional qualifications, including OET, CBT, OSCE, and NMC registration, paving the way for an opportunity to work in the United Kingdom. Joining the Kingsholm Ward at Wotton Lawn Hospital, I found myself amidst a team of dedicated professionals who not only supported my transition but also empowered me to thrive in my role.

“Despite initial challenges such as language barriers and adapting to a new healthcare system, I found solace in the profound impact I could make on patients’ lives. Over time, I transitioned from navigating hurdles to leading shifts and advocating tirelessly for the well-being of those under my care.

“The invaluable feedback and appreciation from colleagues, management, and patients alike have been the driving force behind my journey as a nurse. Their encouragement reaffirms my belief that each day presents an opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others.

“In December 2023, I was honoured to be appointed as a Band 6 Clinical Mental Health Charge Nurse, a role that allows me to further contribute to the field I am deeply passionate about. I am grateful for the trust placed in me and remain committed to upholding the highest standards of care. As I reflect on my journey thus far, I am reminded of the words of encouragement I received along the way: “If I could make a difference, you all could.” Indeed, it is through collective efforts and unwavering dedication that we can create positive change in the world around us.

“My words to my international colleagues would be:  As you embark on your own journeys in the field of nursing, I want to offer you words of inspiration and encouragement. It’s natural to face challenges and uncertainties, especially when navigating unfamiliar territories and systems. However, remember that every struggle you encounter is an opportunity for growth and learning. If I could overcome obstacles and carve out a fulfilling career in nursing, then I believe wholeheartedly that you can too. Stay resilient, remain dedicated to your passion for serving others, and trust in your abilities to make a difference. Your perseverance will undoubtedly lead to rewarding outcomes, just as it has for me. Together, we can continue to elevate the standards of care and positively impact the lives of those we serve.”

Maxine is a Health Care Support Worker and aspiring nurse at the Vale Minor Injury and Illness Unit, in Dursley. International Nurses’ Day 2024

She said: “I want to be a nurse because I have a passion for helping others, and a real desire to try and make all situations, even painful ones, as positive as possible. I love the buzz of busy departments, especially when I never know what the day is going to bring on the drive to work! Learning new skills, and learning how to treat people for all sorts of different illnesses and injuries, is something which excites me every time I put my uniform on. I love my job and the people I work with, I’m really looking forward to my future in healthcare.”



New Non-Executive Directors for Trust

New Non-Executive Directors for Trust

Two new Non-Executive Directors have been appointed to the Board of Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust. Bilal Lala and Jason Makepeace were appointed following a competitive recruitment process, and Trust Chair Graham Russell said he was looking...

Integrated Urgent Care Service for Gloucestershire

Integrated Urgent Care Service for Gloucestershire

NHS Gloucestershire has today announced that Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded the contract to provide an Integrated Urgent Care Service (IUCS) for local patients. IUCS includes NHS 111 (telephone and online), a local Clinical...