Two nurses with Nursing the Nation 2020 text

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During the week of 11 May 2020 the union will be celebrating the work that nurses, midwives and nursing associates do every day to help the people of the UK.

We’re proud of the vital jobs our nurses, midwives and nursing associates do every day to help people. Nurses and midwives make a very real and vital contribution to the health of our nation and we want to celebrate that.

We’ll be organising some events and promoting the vital work our members do on social media, and we’re encouraging branches to celebrate too.

If you can’t celebrate across the whole week then the key day to focus on is 12 May which is International Nurses Day – and this year the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.

We’re going to pull out all the stops to ensure that nurses, midwives and nursing associates know how proud we are of them and the work they do.

And we want our members, branches, patients and their families and other healthcare staff to get involved and celebrate with us.

Need some inspiration? Read on

Organise a special event

Why not plan a special lunch to celebrate the nurses, nursing associates and midwives in your trust. Get the trust chief executive and other senior staff involved and invite a speaker.

Or you could put on a coffee morning or afternoon tea where staff can drop in during their shift for a cuppa and a slice of cake.

Have a birthday party on 12 May to celebrate the fantastic work nurses, midwives and health visitors do – or on a Friday or Saturday close to that date.

Organise stalls in your hospital when you can celebrate nurses, nursing associates and midwives with cakes and freebies. You see what’s available in our online shop.

Find out if any nurses, midwives or nursing associates in your trust have their birthday on 12 May and make them VIPs for the day. Organise a lunch, a cake and a card from the branch.

If you’re holding a special event, don’t forget to invite your trust board and chief executive to get involved, and why not see if your local MP wants to come along too.

Other ways to celebrate

Create a giant celebration card to have in the hospital and invite staff, patients, visitors and everyone to sign the card to say thank you to nurses, nursing associates and midwives for the brilliant job they do.

Collect patient comments about nursing/midwifery staff and include them in a thank you card, or in a ‘word cloud’ certificate.

Work with patient groups, local charities like Age UK or MIND to organise a competition to invite people to design a thank you card for the nurses in their hospital or community and get the winner turned into a card to send, from UNISON to every nurse, nursing associate and midwife in your trust.

Alternatively, you could work with local schools to organise a competition to design a thank you card for all the nurses, nursing associates and midwives who work in your trust. The UNISON local government or schools branch should be able to help you with contacts in your local school to get you started.

Don’t forget to publicise what you are doing

  • Let UNISON know what events you are planning by emailing or via our Facbook page
  • Tweet us @UNISONourNHS and use the hashtag #nursingthenation
  • Email photos of the event to or tweet them to @UNISONourNHS
  • Tell your local media what you are planning and invite them along to meet members and cover the event.
  • Use social media to publicise your event – if you use the hashtag #nursingthenaton it will help us see what you are doing.

Nursing the Nation goodies

We are producing a range of branded items that you can order to give out to members and potential members at celebration events.

Prices vary according to quantities ordered and minimum order requirements apply. Delivery can take several weeks so please get organised and order in good time.

You can order:

  • Supermarket trolley coins
  • Drawstring bags
  • Celebratory pin badges
  • Pens
  • Post-it note pads
  • Mugs
  • Notebooks

Order these from TC Branding now