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Scheme to reconnect retired nurses to the profession

Working nurses are set to reach out to those who retired years ago to establish ‘meaningful relationships’

Working nurses are set to reach out to those who retired years ago to establish ‘meaningful relationships’ which could enrich their careers as the Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) celebrates joining a ‘keeping in touch’ scheme.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations’ (NCVO) Keep in Touch (KiT) project is a telephone befriending project which connects current Queen’s Nurses and retired Queen’s or community nurses to talk about life experiences, aspects of nursing past and present, memories and future plans.

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NCVO has now added the QNI to its list if organisations who have acquired the ‘approved provider standard’ to join the KiT service and open it up to their members.

QNI chief executive Crystal Oldman said: ‘We are delighted to have been accredited. KiT is a fantastic project and a wonderful support for retired community nurses, helping them to re-establish links with the nursing community.

‘We hope to reach more of these nurses so that they can also benefit from keeping in touch as well as recruiting more volunteers to join our enthusiastic and dedicated team.’

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The retired nurses in the project are for the most part well over state retirement age and would not be looking to return to the workforce. One of the key aims of the project is to reconnect former nurses with the profession at a time when they may have lost contact with colleagues and peers from their working life.

According to the QNI, working nurses have told them that they derive inspiration and encouragement from speaking with retired nurses as it helps put their own experiences into more context and also gives them a supportive two way conversation where they can reflect on their personal and professional values.

In KiT, all conversations respect patient confidentiality – all volunteers are fully trained in this and other respects.

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‘Participants of the KIT project are developing meaningful and rewarding friendships, and the accreditation is recognition of the tremendous efforts of our committed team,’ said project leader Suzanne Rich.

Any Queen’s nurses interested in joining up to KiT are encouraged to contact the QNI and Ms Rich.