Celebrating our team on International Nurses Day

By Anna Jones, who is director of children’s services at Chestnut Tree House. Anna is a registered paediatric nurse and children’s community nurse specialist, with considerable experience working in paediatric palliative care. She’s worked in and around the local area for the past 17 years – working across multiple sectors and organisations

In this blog:

From Anna:

“When we think about nurses, it is usually their care, compassion and kindness that come to mind first. But there is far more to nursing than these ‘soft’ skills. Behind these values are highly competent medical professionals who possess a wide range of other attributes, ranging from clinical skills to advanced practice. Nurses are also communicators and leaders, with the ability to effect real change and advocate for patients.

I am proud of the diverse team of nurses we have here at Chestnut Tree House. Our people come from adult, learning disability and paediatric backgrounds and all of them bringing different, valuable skills to the team. This year, two members of the Chestnut team finished their nursing associate training, and our next stage of workforce development is developing non-medical prescribers and introducing advanced care practitioners to the team.

A smiling nurse in the grounds of Chestnut Tree House pushing a child in a pushchair.

Responding to need

“Since Chestnut Tree House opened 20 years ago, we have had to adapt to reflect the changing needs of the families we support. Children with life-limiting illnesses are living longer, fuller lives thanks to the great strides being made in medical research. A large amount of work goes into maintaining a skilled workforce with continued clinical skills training such as looking after children with tracheostomies and ventilators, or those who rely on nutrition through gastrostomies.

But the training doesn’t stop there. Our staff need advanced communication training using communication aids, eye gaze equipment and Makaton. We train our staff in caring for different medical conditions, looking after children with learning disabilities and those with challenging behaviours.

I want to celebrate nurses’ professionalism and leadership in ensuring we meet the needs of children and their families. Nursing leadership is what ensures safe, quality care – and nurses also play a key role in service transformation. Nurses can be powerful leaders in advocating for patients and ensuring systems and processes are responsive to their needs. Chestnut Tree House is going through significant service transformation led by nurses, using evidence, literature, data, service user feedback and engagement to shape our service delivery and devise and implement strategy.

Happy nurse and child at the house

Identifying talent

One of the most rewarding parts of my role is to develop nurses. I strive to empower our people to be critical thinkers, lead quality improvement initiatives and implement new ways of working. In everything I do , I try to educate, innovate and inspire the team, ensuring the future generation of nurses will meet and advocate for the palliative care needs of children and young people. There is a quote I love from Dame Yvonne Moores, a global leader in nursing, who urged leaders to “Identify talent in others, nurture and grow it so that one day they will be better than you.”

Nurses should be proud of their title. We are in a position of great privilege and responsibility. We must use our knowledge and our voices to influence the future health care of our children and young people. This Nurses’ Day, I celebrate and give thanks to my team and all those nurses around the world working to provide and improve care for patients.”

We are currently recruiting for bank nurses at Chestnut Tree House. If you are interested in this or any other vacancy, go to our jobs page.

What is International Nurses Day?

International Nurses Day is celebrated worldwide on 12 May – a significant date for all nurses as it marks the birth of Florence Nightingale. The day itself is an opportunity to celebrate the incredible work of the nursing profession and highlight the difference excellent care makes to patients’ lives.

Find out more

Working at Chestnut Tree House

A nursing role at Chestnut Tree House is varied and rewarding. It’s full of fun and laughter as well as poignant and challenging moments. A lot of people have the misconception that hospices as sad, depressing places- but it’s not the case. Chestnut Tree House is vibrant and full of life! Find out what our staff think about working here.