Celebrating International Nurses Day

Local mental health services are celebrating International Nurses Day and the brilliant work that nurses do all over the world every day.

International Nurses Day, on Saturday 12th May, is an opportunity to celebrate nurses who support people through some of the toughest times of their lives and help them to their recovery.

Organised annually by the International Council of Nurses, International Nurses Day celebrates the contribution that nurses make to societies around the world. The date has a very strong significance, being the birthday of perhaps the world’s most famous nurse, Florence Nightingale.

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides mental health and learning disability services for all ages in Sussex and services for children and young people in Hampshire, currently has more than 1,250 nurses that work across the Trust in various services, which includes children and young people’s services, dementia services and forensic healthcare services. The nursing workforce includes several nurses who moved to the UK to join the NHS and continue to develop their skills as mental health nurses – something the trust is celebrating this International Nurses Day.

Lindy Montandon came to the UK in 1990 after training as a State Registered Nurse in Singapore: “When I first came to the UK I was based at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, working in an Orthopaedic and Rheumatology research unit.

“I completed my post-basic mental health training at the Nightingale School of Nursing to convert my qualification to an RMN, which is a qualified registered nurse who has specialist training in mental health nursing. I then moved to Sussex in 1992 to be closer to family.

“I love being a nurse and being able to make a difference to the patients that we care for, through daily engagement and interaction. Nursing is a vocation – it is challenging and really hard work sometimes, but is so rewarding and fulfilling.”

Dennis Singson currently works as a Senior Nurse Practitioner for the Urgent Care Service in Hastings. He completed his 4 year BScN degree in the Philippines in 1989 and came to the UK ten years later after finishing his Master’s Degree, when he was recruited by East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust and was later employed by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. He said:

“I completed a year’s conversion course to qualify as an RMN and was then seconded by the Trust to do my Nurse Prescribing course.

“I never intended to stay in the UK – I had originally planned to go to America but ever since arriving here I have enjoyed it so much that Hastings has become my second home!

“My favourite thing about being a nurse is being able to help patients. The joy when you see someone improve, to manage their illness, become independent and feel safe again is immeasurable.

“Mental health nursing in the Philippines is so different and often people would end up staying in hospital for years, neglected and sometimes forgotten by their families. I am so proud that in Sussex Partnership we are able to offer a much better person-centred approach to treatment, with a goal of helping the person to achieve recovery.

“If someone was thinking about becoming a nurse, I would tell them to just go for it! There can be a lot of hurdles and challenges but if it is ‘in you’, you will know it’s the job for you. As a nurse you will get to meet inspiring people who will help pave the way and inspire you and that is truly amazing.”

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