I am writing this during International Nurses' week and reflecting on how much I love being a nurse and enjoy working with and meeting nurses in the UK and abroad.
In February, the QNI was privileged to host a visit from Professor Josefina Tuazon from the University of the Philippines in Manila. Josefina was in the UK, supported by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, to scope a potential research project. The aim was for both countries to learn from each other concerning benefits and outcomes of different community nursing models.
The highlight of Josefina's visit was her observation in practice with two Queen's Nurses. She observed complex and end-of-life nursing care delivered in the home, a model which does not exist in the Philippines, and she has taken back her experiences to explore further in Manila.
The way in which Josefina spoke about her experiences in practice was the embodiment of compassion in practice and of the '6 Cs', even though she had never heard of them. We were speaking the same language when we discussed the excellence in patient care she had observed.
In 2012, I had the opportunity to visit Saudi Arabia, where I met a number of nurses who had trained in Saudi and planned to come to the UK to develop their learning and clinical skills.
Part of the discussion with each involved an exploration of their reasons for choosing nursing as a profession and a reflection on their practice. Those I met were passionate about nursing and committed to developing their skills. Like Josefina, their commitment to nursing and to delivering best practice for their patients was palpable.
There is very little community nursing in the Philippines, while in Saudi, community nursing is in its infancy - although primary care community centres are rapidly expanding. There is, however, something about a commitment to nursing that provides us with a common language, no matter where we have learned our craft: a commitment to best patient care and to learn and develop fresh skills to assist us in that endeavour.
Crystal Oldman, chief executive, Queen's Nursing Institute