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Nurses praised for ‘always being there for us’

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Nurses Day proclamation at City Hall: Walter Roban, Deputy Premier and Acting Minister of Health, with Hamilton town crier Ed Christopher and nurse of the year Irena Ashton (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Bermuda’s nurses were applauded for showing “the highest level of strength and courage” as health professionals emerge from the ordeal of pandemic.

Walter Roban, the acting health minister, today told a gathering for International Nurses Day: “Your work has been on the front lines, selflessly putting yourselves at risk to deliver care to our people.”

Mr Roban issued the proclamation for nurses at City Hall.

Charles Gosling, the Mayor of Hamilton, paid tribute to “this truly valiant group of people”.

Mr Gosling added: “For more than two years, our global community has faced our greatest health crisis in several generations.”

He told the gathering organised by the Bermuda Nurses Association: “You were there. You were more than there – suddenly you became the most visible professionals on the island.

“You have always been there for us.”

Nurses Day proclamation at City Hall. Walter Roban, Deputy Premier and Acting Minister of Health, delivers a tribute to Bermuda’s frontline healthcare workers (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Irena Ashton, one of the island’s nurses of the year and corresponding secretary of the BNA, said the profession faced challenges ranging from an ageing workforce to a general shortage of nurses.

The International Council of Nurses estimates up to 13 million nurses are needed to fill the global shortage.

“Recent reports have shown investment in nursing is needed if we are to meet the healthcare challenges of the future.”

She added: “Now is the time for action.

“Addressing these nursing issues will be critical and essential in the development of the universal health plan in Bermuda.”

Laura Lynn Jackson, Bermuda’s chief nursing officer, highlighted this year’s theme for the annual day for nurses: “A voice to lead – invest in nursing and respect rights to secure global health.”

City Hall salute to nurses: Walter Roban, acting health minister, holds up the Nurses Day Proclamation. From left: registered nurse Debrina Howe; Laura Lynn Jackson, chief nursing officer; nurses of the year Janice Mulling George and Irena Ashton, and Renee Faulcon, president of the Bermuda Nurses Association (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

She said: “Health is not for a few of us. It’s for all of us. The theme calls on us to invest in this most global profession.”

Ms Jackson said that the Covid-19 pandemic had highlighted gaps in healthcare.

“The restoration work now requires us to heal,” she said.

Renée Faulcon, president of the BNA, is also a nurses’ educator and lecturer at the Bermuda College.

“I have to mention that 2022 is the year of the nurse educator,” she said. She cited the college’s “fantastic job getting our students educated in the world of nursing”.

Walter Roban, acting health minister, joins Charles Gosling, mayor of Hamilton, with town crier Ed Christopher and a host of healthcare professionals in the proclamation of International Nurses Day (Photograph by Jonathan Bell)

Janice Mulling George, another nurse of the year, said the pandemic had made nurses work “tirelessly” to keep the community safe.

“We want you to remember on behalf of the nursing association and leadership team that you matter,” she said. “So take time out to take care of you.”

Ms George also called on nurses to become a part of the BNA.

“It’s your voice – and your voice matters,” she said.

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Published May 12, 2022 at 4:34 pm (Updated May 13, 2022 at 5:34 pm)

Nurses praised for ‘always being there for us’

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